By Andy Sevilla
Hays County home sales slipped in October, marking a 17 percent decline when compared to home sales during the same month last year, according to recent home sales data.
October home sales, which include standard residential homes, condominiums, town homes and manufactured homes, closed at 183 for the month, according to David Aston and R. Victoria Peterson, Buda realtors of Team Aston.
Last year, October sales reached 214 homes.
Home sales decline “is typical and not a surprise in the real estate market. These trends happen every year at about the same time and will most likely continue into the holiday season and through the early new year,” Peterson said.
As summer comes to an end, home sales decrease since home buyers are either settling into their newly purchased homes or they have decided to wait until the next break in their children’s school activities to make a move, Peterson said.
“Historically speaking, the market will pick up again in early March 2015 as the weather warms, spring is in the air and people begin to start thinking about their next move…” she said.
Both short- and long-term growth is predicted for the future of Hays County’s real estate market, according to Peterson and Aston, largely due to the county’s geographic location along Interstate 35 and situated next to Austin.
Austin city officials have estimated that about 110 new residents move to the city daily, and Peterson said some of Austin’s population overflow looks to settle in Hays County where homes are more affordable.
Austin’s median home price in September was $240,000, eight percent over the same month last year, while the average home price rose seven percent to $308,514, according to the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR).
The median home list price year-to-date in Hays County is $235,000, while the medial sales price is $167,000, according to Peterson. Median year-to-date sale prices in Buda and Kyle are $219,000 and $167,000, respectively.
In August, 252 homes were sold in Hays County, and 232 were sold in September, according to Team Aston’s figures pulled from ABoR data.
By comparison, 304 Hays County homes were sold in August last year, and 121 in September of the same year.
For the whole Austin-area, home sales rebounded in September after slipping the previous two months, according to ABoR. The Board reports an increase of 10 percent in area-wide September sales this year to 2,524 homes, when compared to last September’s sales.
In Hays County, September sales almost doubled when compared to the same month in 2013, according to Team Aston data. September sales this year hiked up by 92 percent over sales last September.
“September’s ten percent increase in home sales, despite ongoing issues in housing affordability, is a testament to the strong population and job growth that the Austin area and its economy continue to enjoy,” Bill Evans, president of ABoR said in a statement.
Peterson said Hays County presently is — and has been for a while — in a seller’s market in the area. Housing inventory is at an all-time low, she said, and likely will remain that way as the area experience population and job creation boosts.
“We predict the market will continue to remain strong although we are seeing a dip in sales currently,” Peterson said. “… This is a pretty typical real estate cycle and our sales improved across the board in 2014 (versus) 2013. This is an improving market and we are very positive about the future of Hays County and Central Texas.”