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Austin's 2020 Housing Market and Impact on Property Taxes

February 24, 2021
  • Austin housing values ended 2020 at a record high
  • Travis Central Appraisal District (TCAD) bases its 2021 appraisals on market conditions as of January 1
  • Homeowners must therefore include Inequality of Appraisal (comparable assessments) when protesting 2021 taxable values to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB).

The Austin-Round Rock MSA housing market broke demand records in 2020 and experienced an exceptional year for the number of properties sold and total dollar volume.  Average and median home values also set records.  The median home value for the full year rose 9.2% to $344,000.  It was an all-time record according to the Austin Board of Realtors’ (ABoR) Annual Market Report for 2020.

As a result, comparable sales will tend to support the appraisal district’s higher values when the protest season begins in April. 

Pending sales are now outpacing new listings, indicating that homes are selling faster than properties can come on the market according to ABoR.

City of Austin

In Austin proper 2020 home sales median prices rose 12% to $420,000, a record.  In December the median sale price rose 18.7% to $461,000, confirming the upward trend in values. 

Travis County

In Travis County median prices increased 12% year over year to $405,000.  Active listings dropped 55% at year end to 1,038 while pending sales increased 38.6% to 1,537.

Williamson County

In Williamson County median prices increased 7.7% to $307,000.  Active listings fell 41.4% to 1,322 in December while pending sales increased 12.6% to 14,158. 

Property Tax Impact

Rising property values mean rising equities but also rising property taxes which have an immediate impact on homeowners’ budgets. 

Travis Central Appraisal District will publish its new taxable values in April.  Based on 2020 sales trends owners can anticipate substantial increases for 2021.

How to protest

Owners can protest to the Appraisal Review Board by May 15 or sixty days after receipt of HCAD’s Value Notice if they receive one.  (Not all homeowners will receive a Value Notice from TCAD.)   But a protest based solely on comparable sales is less likely to succeed than one which includes Inequality of Appraisal (comparable assessments).  Inequality is an equalizer for homeowners who feel they are overtaxed by a rising market.

Inequality is one of the least understood arguments for a reduction before the ARB.  When successful it always results in a value below market.  Many agents don’t know how to pursue Inequality because it’s complicated.  At Property Tax Protest we’ve done it successfully more often than not.  To learn how we use Inequality of Appraisal to get you the value you deserve, click here.  Or you can sign up here to get started saving now.

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