While the pandemic put the hurt on a number of industries in 2020, the real estate market in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Hays County, bounced back from a spring slowdown in spectacular fashion by breaking annual sales records.
A news release from the Austin Board of Realtors said 40,165 homes were sold in 2020 in the MSA for a grand total of $17,579,802,503. Hays County homes accounted for 4,864 of the home sales, for a total of $1,833,669,611.
“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 [ABoR] has ever seen,” 2021 ABoR President Susan Horton said in the news release.
Dr. James Gaines, former chief economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center, said in the news release that the market is fueled by years of high population growth and employment gains, lifestyle changes following the pandemic and record-low interest rates.
“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,” Gaines said. “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.”