**Blog post courtesy of Grossman & Jones Group**
2020 was a year of record-breaking real estate sales in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area. Despite a temporary lag caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for housing reached an all-time high.
This is according to the Austin Board of Realtor’s December 2020 and year-end Central Texas housing report released Jan. 21, which reflected a record-breaking 40,165 homes sold last year.
“This is a historical and unprecedented time for our housing market,” 2021 ABoR President Susan Horton said. "The pandemic only increased demand for all types of housing across the region, pushing inventory to near-zero levels."
Residential home sales rose by 16.2% year over year in December alone as the median sale price increased by 15.8%, a record for the five-county MSA.
These factors have created an incredibly competitive real estate market in the Greater Austin area, according to Horton, who said it is now commonplace for homes to receive multiple officers well over the listed price.
That competition has made its way outside of the city limits, according to ABoR’s analysis.
In western Travis County, the Lake Travis-Westlake region saw a comparable jump throughout the month of December, with year-over-year increases in home sales, median prices and dollar volume.
Residential home sales in the Lake Travis-Westlake area soared by 28.5% in December. The total dollar volume, which represents the month’s total sale prices, increased by 56.2%.
The region also saw a 15.4% year-over-year jump in median home prices and a 17.7% increase in price per square foot.
The Lake Travis-Westlake area is experiencing a near-zero level of housing inventory—a factor that can put immense pressure on home prices, according to ABoR’s previous reports.
Though the region held onto one month of inventory through November, that number dipped to 0.7 months of inventory in December.
Experts are not anticipating a slowdown in sales heading into 2021. Dr. James Gaines, former chief economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center said the market is not seeing decreased demand as homes continue to sell rapidly.
“The Austin-area real estate market is experiencing extraordinarily high demand fueled by years of high population growth and employment gains, lifestyle changes following the pandemic and record-low interest rates,” Gaines said in the report.