Victoria Reviel remembered how 20 years ago her husband opted to go further out from Austin and buy a four-bedroom house in Cedar Park. The price tag: $135,000.
With Cedar Park blossoming into a city with numerous amenities and a tollway offering quick access to Austin, she said that same house sold in 2015 for $345,000.
Reviel, a real estate agent and president of the Williamson County Association of Realtors, said that spike in home value mirrors numbers released this month showing an ever-increasing jump in home prices in the Central Texas housing market.
Data released by the Realtors association show that halfway into 2018, the average home price within Williamson County has increased to $313,869 — or 5 percent — when compared with the first half of 2017.
Since Jan. 1, 5,582 homes have been sold in Williamson County, a 6 percent increase from the same period last year, according to the data. In Travis County, 15,364 homes have been sold since June, which is 3.7 percent higher than the first half of 2017.
Reviel said those numbers all add up to a local housing market where more rural areas are enticing for homebuyers — even if they originally were seeking to buy a home in or nearby Austin.
“There are deals to be had, but you have to go to Hutto, Liberty Hill or Jonestown to find some more affordable homes,” she said.
As for Round Rock and more urban areas, Reviel said homebuyers should not expect many homes to sell lower than $325,000, and those within that price range receive multiple offers.
While the first half of 2018 shows what is likely another record year for the Central Texas housing market, numbers for June showed a slight dip in residential home sales. But Jim Gaines, chief economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said that is not an indication that the housing market is cooling off.
“The Central Texas housing market is among the top three in the country,” Gaines said. “The region’s population growth, particularly along the Interstate 35 corridor, is fueled by diversified economic opportunities that bring jobs, new businesses and resources across multiple industries. Strong population growth and home sales activity are expected to continue in the Central Texas region for the rest of the year and into 2019.”
Reviel and other real estate agents have said slower home sales in June could reflect a trend of fewer people buying homes during the summer. Monika Suhnholz, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker United Realtors, said most buyers like to have their home purchase completed when the school year ends.
“So in June, we still have some business, but after July 15 it typically slows down tremendously, especially in areas where schools drive the sales,” Suhnholz said.
Additional reporting by Shonda Novak, American-Statesman staff
This story has been edited to include Williamson County and Round Rock housing market data