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Which housing market is the hottest in Texas — Dallas or Austin?



AUSTIN, TX – There’s no doubt that the Dallas-Fort Worth housing market is jalapeño hot, with homes getting multiple offers on the day they hit the market, many of those for far over the asking price, and many offers being cash instead of financed deals.

But for a taste of a housing market that only the strongest can stomach — call it habanero hot — head south on I-35 for about three hours to Austin, where homes are selling for more over asking price than in any major U.S. city.

Austin is being called, by some, the hottest housing market in not only the state, but the nation, depending on how you measure heat. (Is it prices, sales volume, days on market, offers received?)

Mark Johnson, CEO of Frisco-based JP & Associates Realtors, used a racing analogy to describe the state’s major housing markets.

“Austin is the hottest market in the state,” he said. “Austin is going 120 (mph). DFW is going 110, Houston is going about the same, and San Antonio is going 100. San Antonio is probably the slowest of the fastest markets, but they’re all going over 100 miles per hour.”

For more than a decade, DFW has led the state and typically the nation in population growth and job growth, which fuel demand for new and existing homes, said Eric Fite, chief operating officer of DFW-based Century 21 Judge Fite Co. So far in 2021, however, Austin and its surrounding area have slightly surpassed DFW in population growth, Fite said.

“In the very short-term, year-to-date, Austin seems to have risen to the top in terms of Texas markets, but Dallas is right behind it in terms of population growth,” Fite said. “Houston and San Antonio are also incredible markets right now. Their population growth is a little bit slower-paced than what Dallas and Austin are doing, but they’re still very robust, and we’re expecting that to continue into the future.”

Austin sellers getting higher premiums

According to a report from online real estate brokerage Redfin, homes are selling for the highest premium in Austin out of 47 metro areas it analyzed in the past month.

Austin homes are selling for 7 percent over asking price, the Redfin report says. An average Austin home listed at $400,000 sold for $428,000 from Feb. 14 to March 14, the period analyzed. A year ago, homes in Austin were selling about 1 percent below asking price, the report says. That worked out to the biggest year-over-year gain in any metro area Redfin examined.

Asked whether Austin’s housing market is hotter than DFW’s, Mark Wolfe, broker and owner of RE/MAX DFW Associates, didn’t hesitate.

“Austin is hotter,” he said. “Austin is that perfect city for people from the East Coast/West Coast who don’t want to live in ‘conservative’ Dallas. They like ‘liberal’ Austin. It’s actually hotter in Austin, if you can believe that.”