How Rising Mortgage Rates Are Affecting the Austin Real Estate Market

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Austin home prices continue to rise, property taxes rise and mortgage rates continue to rise, prospective buyers are asking, “Is anything finally going to give?”

The short answer is no.

“Truly, we haven’t seen that impact in our market,” said Cord Shiflet, president of the Austin Board of Realtors. “We are a demand-driven market, we have buyers coming here in droves and they all need a place to go.”

The latest ABoR Housing Report for March shows that the median sales price for homes, townhomes and condos in the Austin-Round Rock MSA was $521,100. That price is up 22% year over year.

While those buyers continue to come from outside of Austin, Shiflet said local buyers, particularly first-time homebuyers, are the ones left out of price.

“It’s going to be people who are in the lower price range,” Shiflet said. Half a million [dollars] and below is where we’re really going to feel that pressure. People who are struggling together to buy their first home and who are much more price sensitive. Obviously, a higher rate means a higher payment.”

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 5.11% on Monday, according to Zillow.

While Shiflet said he shouldn’t expect home prices to decline, there may be some hope that mortgage rates will decline later this year.

He said local economists are looking to the fall for a potential turnaround.

“As the election cycle approaches, hopefully we’ll see rates come down a little bit again,” he said. “But we don’t see our housing market changing. We continue to struggle with out of inventory. We continue to push our local officials to create affordable housing.”

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