What’s on the Horizon Newsletter – June 2024 – Horizon Realty

Newsletter

JUNE 2024

Your Guide to the Central Texas Real Estate Market 

Median Home Price - 5 Year-Trend in Austin-Round Rock MSA

Comparatively the current median price in central Texas is in line with home values back in 2023 and 2021. 
 
Throughout the 5-county area of Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell, the median home price in 2024 is much lower than the median home price in 2023.  Many factors contribute to the decline in homes values, including higher interest rates, as well as a sharp increase home inventory.

How to Get a Lower Mortgage Rate

While we may not see a significant mortgage rate decline in mid 2024, there may still be ways to secure a lower rate if you’re buying a home right now. Here’s how:

Buy mortgage points
You can “buy down” your mortgage rate by paying discount points upfront at closing or by having them rolled in to your overall loan. While it can vary by lender, one point typically equals 1% of the loan amount and generally lowers your rate by 0.25%. Buying mortgage points may require paying more upfront on your loan, but it can make sense if you plan to stay in the home long enough to recoup the costs through lower monthly payments.

Make a larger down payment
Lenders typically offer lower rates to borrowers who make a larger down payment, as this reduces their risk exposure. A 20% down payment is ideal, but putting down 25% or more can help you qualify for the most attractive rate pricing, depending on the lender and your overall borrowing profile.

Improve your credit score
Your credit score is a key factor in the mortgage rate you’ll receive. Higher scores signal less default risk to lenders. So, if you’re trying to secure the lowest rate possible, focus on paying down debts, fixing any errors on your credit report and avoiding any new credit inquiries to give your score a boost before applying.

Consider an ARM loan
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) may offer a lower introductory interest rate compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. However, the rate is only fixed for an initial period, after which it will adjust periodically based on market rates. That can make them a risky proposition for certain buyers, but ARM loans can still make sense for those who don’t plan to stay in the home long term, or for those who expect rates to decline in the future.

Shop around thoroughly
Not all lenders offer the same rates, fees and qualification standards. Getting quotes from multiple banks, credit unions and mortgage companies is crucial to ensure you find the most competitive rate and terms available based on your financial profile.

171 New 1-Acre Homes in Leander - "Leander Estates"

The Leander City Council on May 2 approved a development agreement for the roughly 210-acre Leander Estates housing development. The agreement will result in nearly 200 new homes, in addition to road improvements, according to the city.
 
David Weekley Homes and Scott Felder Homes are the homebuilders during the first phase of development for Leander Estates.

Master-planned Community Near Elgin - "Triada"

A real estate developer has secured approval to build a 272-acre master-planned community near Elgin called Triada, potentially bringing 875 homes to the area as well as a park and sports complex.

Representatives of the company said in a May 8 announcement that the development will offer a range of housing options, along with a 6-acre amenity center with a fitness facility, resort-style pool, playscape, shade structure and two pickleball courts. It also will have 55 acres of open space, nearly four miles of trails and a sports complex with baseball and soccer fields, as well as other sports facilities, that will be turned over to the city of Elgin.

Construction on the project is expected to begin this fall, with the first lots expected to be available in the summer of next year and the first homes delivered by the end of 2025, according to the announcement. The development will be built in six phases, with the amenity center expected to be completed by 2026, and the sports complex by 2027. Full buildout is expected by 2031.

Georgetown is Fastest Growing City of Its Size for 3rd Straight Year

For the third-straight year, Georgetown is the fastest-growing city of at least 50,000 people by percent change, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Other Austin-area cities weren’t far behind.
 
Georgetown’s population reached 96,312 last year, according to newly released city-level data for the 12-month period spanning July 2022 to July 2023. That represents a gain of roughly 9,250 people from the year before, which is a 10.6% growth year-over-year, making it the fastest-growing city of at least 50,000 people.
 
Kyle, south of Austin, ranked No. 2 with a 9% increase to 62,548 people, up from its third-spot ranking last year, while Leander, northwest of Austin, saw a 7.6% boost in population to 80,067 people, according to the data.

Weekly Trend - Active, Pending, and Sold Homes

National Commission Lawsuit

At Horizon Realty, we want to ensure clarity regarding recent developments concerning the NAR settlement. While there has been much reporting on this matter, we aim to address any misconceptions and reaffirm our commitment to serving you with integrity.

It’s crucial to understand that brokerage commissions have always been negotiable. Throughout our tenure, we have provided various options to accommodate our clients’ needs. Your satisfaction has always been our priority.

We believe buying or selling a home is significant, and we are dedicated to guiding you through this process with expertise and care. From the initial consideration to the closing, our team is committed to providing exceptional service.

Horizon Realty is a full-service brokerage, offering highly trained agents, top-tier marketing, advanced technology, and a vast referral network. Our fees reflect the quality services we provide.

Regarding the NAR settlement:

  • We are committed to implementing necessary policies outlined in the settlement.
  • Brokerages can still negotiate commission percentages, including those with us.
  • Sellers have the discretion to set commission offers.
  • We maintain a minimum commission standard while representing sellers or buyers.
  • Our focus remains on enhancing innovation and efficiency for our clients.

It’s important to clarify that Horizon Realty is not involved in the lawsuit against NAR and certain national brokerage firms. Our commitment has always been to advocate for your best interests.

Thank you for your trust in Horizon Realty. We are dedicated to exceeding your expectations every step of the way.

HORIZON REALTY has helped buyers and sellers in Austin and surrounding areas with their real estate needs since 1999. The success of the company stems from ensuring a positive real estate experience for both agents and clients. 

Currently HORIZON REALTY sponsors over 100 professional REALTORS® spanning a variety of real estate services from residential and commercial sales to leasing and property management.  

Outside of real estate, HORIZON REALTY has been an active sponsor and contributor to programs such as Coats for Kids, Soles for Souls, The Miracle Foundation, the Capital Area Food Bank and Toys for Tots.