The Austin, Texas, housing market’s strong growth pushed sales and prices to record highs in both December and 2006, according to the latest report from the Austin Board of Realtors.

December sales of single-family homes hit a new high for the month at 1,996, up 3 percent from the same month in 2005, bringing total sales for the year to a record 26,958, up 10 percent from 2005.

The December median price of single-family properties rose 4 percent from a year ago to $177,500, a new high. In addition, the 2006 year-end median price also set a record at $174,500, up 6 percent from 2005.

Single-family homes that sold in December spent an average of 63 days on the market, the lowest time span in four years, down from 68 days in November. With homes selling so quickly, the number of active listings last month declined by 4 percent to 7,830, marking the lowest number since 2001.

Certain parts of the Austin metropolitan proved to be especially popular with buyers in 2006, ABoR reported. Houses in Areas N and SW, which respectively border Hays and Williamson counties, sold particularly quickly, decreasing their average time on the market by 20 days and 21 days, respectively, from the previous year.

Hays County also posted notable gains, with Area HH’s record 1,125 home sales besting the previous year by 236. Homes in area HH sat on the market for an average of 69 days in 2006, which is a decrease of eight days from 2005.

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