Finding a cheaper home in Williamson County keeps getting harder

Home Prices Williamson County (KXAN Photo/Lauren Kravets).
Home Prices Williamson County (KXAN Photo/Lauren Kravets).

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Dustin Hall and his family have never seriously considered moving to Austin because of the higher cost of homes. They’re in the process of moving from Kyle to Round Rock, where they’ll rent a house. They also rented in Kyle after owning several homes.

“[We] bought another house, the value went down dramatically and then kind of suffered the consequences of that and decided we’d like to try renting for a little while,” explains Hall.

Even though Williamson County is more affordable than Austin, costs are still climbing. The average home price has risen $90,000 over the last six years:

Year Average home price in Williamson County
2011 $193,357
2012 $203,684
2013 $224,689
2014 $246,460
2015 $265,289
2016 $283,153

“We are one of the most robust growing counties in the nation, both in job growth and housing starts,” says Christy Gessler, broker of Keller Williams Realty of Cedar Park. “So it does stand to reason that as our communities grow, affordability may become an issue. We’re still an incredibly affordable community when you look at us nationally.”

In fact, Hall may consider buying in Round Rock, if prices don’t get too high. “There are other outskirts, outlying areas that will probably remain at a more reasonable price that we could always consider.”

Gessler says Leander and the western side of Georgetown, close to Liberty Hill, have some of the most affordable home prices in Williamson County.

Year to year, median home prices in Williamson County are up 6.5 percent. Travis County is up 8.5 percent. In Hays County, the median home price is now $262,000, which is an increase of more than 10 percent from May 2016. The price of the average single family home in Austin has jumped 9.6 percent from last May, to a new record of $400,000.

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