Austin housing market continues to break records in 2020, despite pandemic

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AUSTIN ( -- Even with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Austin housing market is still breaking new records.

A new report from the Austin Board of REALTORS shows the Austin market had more than $17 billion in home sales last year, a new all-time high. It's the 10th straight year that annual home sales have surpassed totals from the year before.

"This is a historical and unprecedented time for our housing market," Susan Horton, the incoming president of ABOR, said. "The pandemic only increased demand for all types of housing across the region, pushing inventory to near-zero levels and creating the strongest sellers’ market REALTORS have ever seen."

The median sales price in the five county Austin-Round Rock MSA for 2020 rose 9.2% to $344,000. Within the Austin city limits, the median price was up 12% to $420,000.

In just the month of December alone, home sales were up 16.2% year-over-year, with homes spending an average of just 36 days on the market - 25 fewer than in 2019.

"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," Dr. James Gaines, former chief economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center, said. "The pandemic fostered an environment where many families increased personal savings helping some transition from renting to ownership while others needed to ‘move up’ for more space while working from home. Despite a steep slowdown during shelter-in-place orders this spring, the market came roaring back in the summer with no drop-off at the end of the calendar year."