This study develops an adaptive time-stepping procedure of Newmark integration scheme for transient elastodynamic problems, based on the semi-analytical scaled boundary finite element method (SBFEM). In each time step, a posteriori local error estimator based on the linear distributed acceleration is employed to estimate the error caused by the time discretization. The total energy of the domain, consisting of the kinetic energy and the strain energy, is calculated semi-analytically. The time increment is automatically adjusted according to a simple criterion. Three examples with stress wave propagation were modeled. The numerical results show that the developed method is capable of limiting the local error estimator within specified targets by using an optimal time increment in each time step.