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Spring sprouts opportunity for first-time homebuyers in Austin

Photo by Steve Rawls.

As the spring season unfolds, the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is witnessing a significant shift in the real estate landscape, particularly for first-time homebuyers. According to the latest Central Texas Housing Report by Unlock MLS, February brought a remarkable surge in new listings, presenting aspiring homeowners with a broader range of options, especially in the more affordable segment of the market.

Dr. Clare Losey, a housing economist for Unlock MLS and the Austin Board of REALTORS®, highlighted this trend, stating that “higher home prices and mortgage rates have diminished affordability for first-time homebuyers over the past few years, but February provided encouragement for these aspiring homeowners.” The data revealed a 44.9% increase in new listings compared to February 2023, with a notable concentration in homes priced under $400,000. This influx of affordable housing options is a promising sign for Central Texans eager to step into homeownership.

Kent Redding, President of Unlock MLS and the ABoR, emphasized the significance of this shift, especially as the spring homebuying season gains momentum. “Buyers are keen on securing homes before the fall and the upcoming school year in August, drawn out by the enhanced curb appeal and favorable weather conditions,” said Redding. This sense of urgency among buyers is driving a dynamic market where sellers are feeling more optimistic, reflected in the 1.2% increase in the median price for residential homes, reaching $443,065 in February.

The report highlighted key insights for various areas within the MSA:

City of Austin: With 717 residential homes sold in February, representing a 3.0% increase from the previous year, the market is showing resilience. The median price for residential homes dipped slightly to $543,200, while new home listings surged by 41.7% compared to February 2023, offering buyers more choices.

Travis County: The county saw 953 residential homes sold, a 1.1% increase from February 2023, with a median price of $500,000. New home listings increased by 42.8%, providing buyers with a variety of options across the county.

Williamson County: This area recorded 777 residential homes sold, a 2.0% increase from the previous year, with a median price of $423,000. Despite a decrease in active home listings, the market remains competitive, with new listings up by 41.7%.

Hays County: With 290 residential homes sold, the county experienced a slight decrease of 6.5% compared to February 2023. The median price for residential homes also decreased slightly to $385,000. However, new home listings surged by 56.4%, offering prospective buyers more opportunities.

Bastrop County: The county saw 92 residential homes sold, a 7.0% increase from February 2023, with a median price of $351,875. New home listings increased by 32.2%, indicating a growing interest in the area.

Caldwell County: With 31 residential homes sold, the county experienced a substantial increase of 93.8% compared to February 2023. The median price for residential homes decreased slightly to $299,900, but new home listings surged by 137.5%, providing buyers with more options.

This spring, partnering with a skilled REALTOR® is essential for making informed decisions that match your budget and housing requirements. Whether you’re buying or selling, the experienced team at Bell Real Estate is poised to navigate you through Austin’s ever-evolving housing market. Contact us today to embark on your real estate journey!

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