STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
The Highland Lakes housing market slowed slightly in 2018 but saw median prices continue to increase.
“Overall, the real estate economy is still healthy,” said Betty Ward, president of the Highland Lakes Board of Realtors. “Homes are still getting bought and sold, maybe not the numbers like 2017, but sales are still happening.”
In 2018, closed sales dipped 6.9 percent in Burnet County and 10.8 percent in Llano County, compared to 2017.
Median prices, however, increased 8.9 percent in Burnet County and 14.3 percent in Llano County.
“The cost of building materials have gone up also, which means higher prices for new construction or renovations,” Ward said. “This is part of what caused the median price to rise.”
Increased interest rates, Ward said, also had an impact on the decrease in closed sales.
The highest percentage of Burnet County homes (24 percent) were priced from $200,000-$300,000, according to the Highland Lakes Association of Realtors.
Homes sold in the range of $100,000-$200,000 comprised 23.5 percent of sales in 2018.
Homes priced in the range of $300,000-$400,000 comprised 15.6 percent of sales in the county, while homes sold between $400,000-$500,000 and $500,000-$750,000 each accounted for 10.3 percent.
Llano County, with more luxury homes located on waterfront property, had slightly different percentages.
Similar to Burnet County, the most homes sold in Llano County were between $100,000-$200,000, at 26.8 percent.
Remaining home sales in Llano County were distributed by price as follows:
• $300,000-$400,000 — 15.7 percent
• $500,000-$750,000 — 13.4 percent
• $200,000-$300,000 — 13.1 percent
• $1 million and above — 9.1 percent
The year ended with December sales falling, compared to year prior numbers. Closed sales in Burnet County decreased 14.1 percent compared to December 2017. In Llano County, December closed sales were down 15.6 percent.
Ward said the area is still feeling the effects of the October flood.
“People are now having to deal with FEMA and meeting their requirements and going through the process of renovating or, in some cases, tearing down homes,” Ward said.
Full December market statistics can be viewed at the Highland Lakes Association of Realtors website.