Below are the sales stats for December 2006 as well as a 2005/2006 comparison summary. This month, on the chart directly below, I’ve added Duplex sales and Townhome sales so you can see how those track over time compared to single family homes.
2006 was a very strong year for the real estate market in Austin and I expect 2007 will be more of the same. December average sales prices were up 6.6% (less than the year as a whole), but 2006 over 2005 saw an average price appreciation of 9.5% overall, and a median price appreciation of 6.2%. Eliminating New Home sales from the stats reduced the gains somewhat, to 8.3% appreciation for average sales price of resale homes, and 5.8% appreciation for the median prices. More on that below.
In general, closer in areas appreciated much better than the further out areas, which is why we’ve tried to keep our investor buyers closer to Austin when possible.
Below is the December comparison for last month and last year.
I hate to post negative news, but I’m on a personal mission to stop unqualified buyers from purchasing homes they can’t afford. Hopefully a few people reading this will take notice. “Owning” a home means having equity in a property you can afford to maintain and pay for. It’s shameful that the new home builders and the mortgage industry enable so many unqualified buyers to get in over their heads. These foreclosures are the result. One out of every 51 Texas households was foreclosed on according to this study. Wow…that’s a lot, and Texas is #4 nationwide in that ratio.
Austin Business Journal – Jan 27, 2007
The state and national foreclosure numbers are in, and they’re not pretty.
Texas finished 2006 with a total of 156,876 foreclosure filings — the highest aggregate total of any state, according to a year-end report by foreclosure source RealtyTrac Inc.
Texas’ total filings equates to a rate of one foreclosure filing for every 51 households — making it the state with the fourth highest foreclosure rate.
Read more …
Here is a rundown on who buyers and sellers are in Texas. I found it most interesting that 20% of buyers are single women, but only 5% are single men. You go girls!
TEXAS (texasrealtors.com) – Last year, first-time homebuyers, with a median age of 33, accounted for 35 percent of existing homes purchased statewide, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2006 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, Texas Report.
The median income for first-timers was $62,700, about 7 percent higher than the national average. All first-time homebuyers financed their purchases compared to 98 percent of repeat buyers. Almost half of all buyers believe their home purchases are better investments than stocks.
Most homebuyers were married couples (68 percent), with single females purchasing a whopping 20 percent compared to single males (5 percent). Detached single-family homes accounted for 86 percent of homes sold. The typical buyer planned to live in the home an average of eight years. Most buyers bought their homes about 18 miles from their previous residences.
About 87 percent of buyers searched for their homes with the help of real estate professionals, with 79 percent purchasing through real estate agents. Of those purchasing through an agent, 79 percent reported they were “very satisfied” with the honesty and integrity of their agents.
The seller’s median age was 46 years with an average household income of $89,500. Married home sellers accounted for 73 percent of sales, and 49 percent had no children younger than 18 living at home. Eighty-six percent used agents or brokers to sell their homes, with 67 percent very satisfied with the selling process. Average days on market was six weeks, with more than half of sellers receiving their asking prices.
Angelou Economics is out with their 2007 economic forecast for Austin. Like 2006, the 2007 forecast is all good news for Austin and our economy. Strong job growth will continue to drive a very healthy real estate market. The article below is a summary from the Austin Business Journal.
You can view a pdf file of Angelou’s Power Point presentation here, but read the article below first for a good summary.
Austin Business Journal – Jan 25, 2007
According to projections by AngelouEconomics Inc., 2007 is shaping up to be a very good year.
The Austin economic research firm forecasts strong economic growth for the metro area, with Austin employment expanding by 24,400 jobs in 2007 and 26,100 jobs in 2008. Last year, 22,400 new jobs were added to the Austin economy.
Job growth is expected to accelerate in retail, hospitality, professional services and information sectors. However, the wholesale trade and manufacturing space will remain slow.
Professional services is expected to add the most jobs in 2007 and 2008, continuing the growth in high-wage industries, while extended expansion of the information and financial sectors will take Austin’s average wage to a new high.
Read more …
Another high-rise condo tower is in the works for Austin. I wonder how many downtown condo units Austin can absorb? These places aren’t cheap to own compared to a house of the same size in South Austin.
From the article below, “Though prices haven’t been set for the 195 units, they are expected to start at about $500,000 for the smallest units with about 1,200 square feet” That’s over $400 per square foot, not including monthly HOA fees. One has to really want to live downtown or have plenty of disposable income to fork out that kind of bread for 1200 square feet of living space in Austin Tx.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Austin’s skyline is about to undergo its biggest change in history.
Soaring 22 stories higher than downtown’s tallest existing building, a $200 million luxury condominium tower planned for Congress Avenue and Second Street will set a new bar for height and unit prices amid downtown’s residential building boom.
Read more …
Finally, after four consecutive years of declining average rents, the Austin rental market turned around in 2006. Though only a modest increase of 1.4% over the 2005 average rental rates, it’s the change in direction that’s important. Austin absorbed 35% more rental homes in 2006 than 2005. The market is very strong but supply remained high most of the year, holding down rental increases. In a normal market, without the additional supply, an increase in demand of 35% would have resulted in a landlord’s market and we would have seen much better rent increases. The days on market for 2006 dropped 10% from an average of 60 days in 2005 to 54 days in 2006 – another indicator that rental vacancies are becoming easier to fill, though 54 days of vacancy would make most investors nervous and unhappy.
Tenants have had a sweet ride the past 5 years, and Austin rental rates still remain below the 1999 rates, but it looks like things have finally leveled out. I have the usual charts and graphs below, including a breakdown by MLS area. I’ll be working on the end of year Sales summary next and also a couple of additional stats projects I hope to complete, including a look at Duplex rental rates and sales value trends, which I’ve had a lot of requests to do. Stay tuned.
Below is the year-over-year summary for December. December rents are up 3% over last year, better than 2006 as a whole. I think we’re going to continue to see increasing increases (is that the right away to say it?) throughout 2007 as investment activity slows a bit and inventory and demand come closer to being in balance.