Home sales decrease as prices rise
February home sales in Williamson County decreased as home prices increased compared to the same month last year, according to data from the Williamson County Association of Realtors.
The current market is a strong seller’s market, said Suzanne Gantner, the association’s president. According to a report by the association, 614 homes were sold in the county last month, which is about a 5 percent decrease from the prior year.
Home prices increased by 8.5 percent when compared to prices year after year, the report shows. Gantner said supply and demand influenced that increase — and buyers should expect the process to take longer than normal.
“The process is taking a little longer because there’s a housing shortage, so that’s why you don’t see a whole lot of sales, but you see the sales price go up,” she said.
The number of homes for sale is low due to demand from new residents, she said, so prices have risen.
“The Central Texas region is experiencing a weird phenomenon where the urban areas and the suburban areas are growing,” she said.
The county’s population grew by more than 37,000 residents from 2013-15 — about an 8 percent increase in two years, according to county population estimates.
People are flocking to Williamson County for many reasons, Gantner said.
“First and foremost is the desirability. We’ve got great schools, great shopping and restaurants,” she said. “In Austin, you didn’t have anywhere else to build, so everybody had to go to either Hays or Williamson counties if they were going to go the new home route.”
Affordability is also a factor. “In Austin, if you were to buy a four-bedroom home, you’re looking at twice the price as if you came to Williamson County and found something compatible,” she said.
The median home price in the county is $265,000, which is about 8.5 percent more than the median price in February 2016, according to the report.
Compared to the entire Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which includes Hays, Travis and Williamson counties, the median home price in Williamson County is $20,000 less than the metropolitan area, the report shows.
Just within Round Rock city limits, the median home price in February was $239,000, which was an 8.6 percent increase compared to last year, according to the report. Home sales in the city limits have decreased by 11.5 percent compared to last February, the report stated.
On average, a home stayed on the market for 58 days last month and took about 34 days to close, according to the report. That time frame is typical for Williamson County, Gantner said.
About 3,800 single-family home permits in the county were issued in 2016, according to the report. Area homebuilders have worked hard to keep up with demand, she said.
“The builders are the reason we’ve been able to add so many families to the area without experiencing a housing crisis,” she said.