Austin realtors push back on Central Texas real estate market 'bust'

Those with vested interests in the Austin housing market have swapped emotional places over the last six months. Sellers and landlords, once jumping for joy at the leverage with which they could insist on all-cash offers right now, and, by the way, waive the appraisal please and I'm not fixing anything, have come back down to Earth. Buyers, forlorn at the prospect of never being able to afford a home inside city limits short of winning Mega Millions, now have some hope.

The sky is falling. The clouds are parting. It's all a matter of perspective. 

Either way, it's impossible to argue with the numbers. Following a high of $550,000 in May, median home prices in Austin fell to $537,000 the following month, and for the rest of the year, continued to fall. In December, the most recent data available, that number was $525,250.

According to Zillow, the Austin housing market is "ice cold," falling out of the top 10 for hottest real estate markets after topping the list in 2021 and landing at 10 last year. A story in the Real Deal describing an apocalyptic memo from Goldman Sachs to clients about incoming recession-style housing busts, including in Austin, features a lead image with a thermometer positively exploding from the heat. 

Mixed metaphors don't travel between publications, but it's clear the new reality for Austin real estate is an extreme shift from a year ago. MySA spoke with some Austin realtors about what it's really like on the ground as the real estate market inevitably shifts from where it was one year ago.

Media Spin

Ashley Jackson, a longtime Austin real estate agent and the president of the Austin Board of Realtors, calls the current Austin housing market a "stabilization," rebuking the notion that six months of a downward trend means the housing market is over. She says the Austin market has returned to a more normal pre-pandemic form, one that was already attractive to buyers. 

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