Archive Monthly Archives: October 2006

Forecast: Austin Real estate boom to continue in 2007

From today’s Austin Business Journal email newsletter. The report doesn’t contain info about residential sales and is focued on the commercial side. But as commercial goes so does residential. The new jobs filling the commercial space are the same people moving into Austin and buying homes.

Source: Austin Business Journal
With rents and occupancy rising across different product types and economic indicators pointing toward further population and job growth in Austin, local commercial real estate professionals say the industry’s high times are likely to continue into next year.

The Institute of Real Estate Management sponsored its annual forecasting forum today at the Hyatt Regency on Town Lake. A panel of experts from different sectors offered their assessment of the market and their predictions for 2007.
Read more …

Posted by Steve
9 years ago

Questions Families Should Ask Before Buying

Here is a snippet I got from Realtor Magazine. It’s a pretty good list, but I would add to it “How are the schools in the neighborhood”? Good schools are a very important factor for most families with kids.

Family real estate specialist Elena Thurston, an associate with Keller Williams Realty in Phoenix, tells buyers that while gourmet kitchens are nice, picking a home that meets the whole family’s needs is more important.

Here are the questions she urges her clients to ask about the homes they are considering.

• Is there neighborhood pool or a covered tot lot? Are there walking trails or other safe places to exercise?

• Is the backyard safe for pets and children?

• Is there adequate storage in the garage for lawn care and play equipment?

• Whose bedroom is over the garage? Will you be able to open the garage without waking up the baby?

• Does the garage open into the kitchen for ease with groceries or do you have to trek through the entire house?

• How invasive are the homeowner association’s rules? Will the association allow you to put up a basketball hoop or install a swing set? Where can you park extra cars?

• How far away are the grocery store, post office, bank, park, gas station, and schools?

• Where are the washer and dryer located? Will operating them during naptime or evening hours disturb sleepers?

• Does the area have good Internet access?

• What is the ratio of adults to children and how many older children are there vs. younger ones?

Posted by Steve
9 years ago

California Home Prices Decline in 8 Counties

Why do we care about California Home prices in Texas? A large number of Austin area buyers, especially investors, are from California. Many of these buyers have either cashed out of homes in California and moved to Austin, or they have used equity in California real estate to finance investments in Austin.

This is not to say Austin relies on California buyers to keep our real estate market moving, but there is no doubt that California buyers/investors have affected our market and contributed to the upward swing in prices, especially over the past year. As California slows down, and people start feeling nervous about real estate, that should stem the flow of California Buyers and Investors at least somewhat.

Story is below

Eight counties in California experienced year-over-year home price declines in September, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Six of the eight counties are in the San Francisco Bay area. Prices in Sonoma County fell the most, at 7.7 percent.
Read more …

Posted by Steve
9 years ago

Despite Warnings, Consumers Opt for Riskier Loans

Source: The Washington Post, (10/24/06)

Borrowers continue to choose risky nontraditional mortgages, even after state and federal regulators have issued widespread warnings about the unstable and rapidly rising payments associated with this kind of financing.

About 26 percent of mortgage loan originations by dollar volume in the first six months of 2006 were interest-only loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Another 13 percent were “option” adjustable-rate loans, which allow customers to pick their payment amount, including a low-cost choice that covers neither the full interest nor the principal.

The loans have been marketed aggressively by lenders to consumers who find them an attractive way to cope with rapidly rising home prices. Payments on the loans can double or even triple as rates adjust and reflect unpaid principal. Most home owners are making only the minimum payments, according to banking data.

Consumer demand is behind the growth in these loans, Doug Duncan, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in a statement. “As expected, consumers respond to changing opportunities in the marketplace, but it looks like these products serve an important need.”

Posted by Steve
9 years ago

Austin Real Estate Market Update – September 2006 Sales

Below are the sales stats for September in Austin, houses only (no condos or townhomes).

The average sales price across all MLS areas in Austin is up 5.89% over September of 2005.

The most important factors in Austin’s real estate market at this time are shrinking inventory and continued strong demand. Overall, Austin has less than a 4 month supply of homes, which is a Seller’s Market. Equalibrium is about 6 months inventory. Of course there are submarkets and neighborhoods in and around Austin that are doing better or worse than the overall average, but we are chugging along at a healthy pace here.

Austin Real Estate Sales Market Update - September 2006
Previous Month and Year Comparison
All Central Texas MLS Areas - Houses Only

 
August 2006
September 2006
September 2005
Yr % Change
# Sold
2529
2150
2198
-2%
Avg List Price
$256,508
$238,143
$226,174
+5.3%
Median List Price
$189,000
$174,900
$169,000
+3%
Avg Sold Price
$249,472
$232,128
$219,212
+5.89%
Med Sold Price
$185,000
$169,802
$164,750
+3.1%
Avg Size SQFT
2144
2069
2082
-0.6%
Median SQFT
1948
1866
1887
-1%
Avg $ per SQFT
$116
$112
$105
+6.67%
Avg Days on Mkt
60
57
66
-13%
Median Days on Mkt
36
37
46
-20%

Below is the breakout by Austin MLS Area.
Read more …

Posted by Steve
9 years ago

Austin “Just Sold” Marketing Allowed to Show List Price Again

Just Sold Sign

Austin Realtors may now advertise a sold property’s list price in marketing pieces and on Web sites again. This has been disallowed in recent past, for reasons which I never completely understood or agreed with.

The rule change does require that marketing materials have the words “List Price” next to the list price, lest a member of the public confuse it with the Sold Price. The Sold Price and Sold Price Per Square Foot of particular properties are still not allowed to be disclosed in marketing materials used by Realtors.

Posted by Steve
9 years ago