People ask me about the Austin and Westlake residential real estate market all the time but the two do not track the same. As a matter of fact, there were 18% less homes sold in Westlake in 2015 than 2006! Westlake is selling just 3.8% above the average number of homes sold compared to the average over the last 10 years. But the median sold price has risen 55.6% and the median sold price per square foot is up 49%! The median sold price for 2015 was $799,000 and the median sold price per square foot was $264.25.
My theory on the slower sales volume compared to the greater Austin area? Westlake is an almost fully developed area of West Austin so there are very few sales associated with new construction other than in-fill lots and tear downs. And Westlake is a very popular area. So the number of homes sold may dip a little in an economic downturn but people almost always want to buy in the area regardless of the economy so sales volume stays fairly consistent. Prices on the other hand are increasing at a strong pace similar to the overall Austin market. However, the median sold price in Austin has increased 76% compared to the 55.6% in Westlake when comparing 2006 to 2015. Why? I believe a premium is built into living in Westlake – even in the down years – so the appreciation tracks behind the overall Austin market as a result.
And don’t be fooled by the numbers, which are derived from the MLS so they do not reflect private sales. It is not easy finding a home under $800,000 that isn’t in need of a complete remodel in Westlake due to low inventory. When those homes do come along they are sometimes sold before hitting the MLS and if they do hit the MLS the best homes can sell within hours.
As a side note, my statistics come from the area commonly known as Westlake covered by the Eanes school district.