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Archive Monthly Archives: April 2007

Austin Rental Market Update – March 2007

Average rents for single family homes in Austin jumped 10% in March 2007 over the same month a year ago, to $1301 per month. Median rent increased 8% to $1195, meaning half of all homes in Austin lease for more than $1195 and half for less. Average days on market for rental homes fell 18% from 62 days a year ago in March to 51 days this March. Median days on market fell 28% from 50 to 36 days, meaning half of all homes leased through the Austin MLS now rent in 36 days or less. The average price per square foot is up 4.5% from $0.66 to $0.69. The number of homes lease was down 3.6% from 653 leased in March of 2006 to 629 leased March 2007.

All together, this is very good news for Austin rental property owners and property managers. Rents seem to be continuing the long climb back to where they were before the tech bust and Austin’s 4 year rental market slide from 2002 through 2005. Last year, 2006 was the first year in 5 years that average rents for the year took an upward turn. It was a very slight upward turn (see graph below), but it marked the end of a rough 4 years of declining rent rates.

As we’ve completed 3 months of 2007 now, I have resumed the year-to-date breakout of rental data by MLS area. The other usual charts and graphs are below. As usual, be mindful of small sample sizes and the fact that when sample sizes in a particular area are small, the data may not reflect an accurate picture.

Austin Rental Market Stats March 2007
Previous Month and Year Comparison
All MLS Areas - Houses Only

 
Feb 2007
Mar 2007
Mar 2006
Yr % Change
# Leased
606
629
653
-3.6%
Avg List Price
$1262
$1312
$1195
9.8%
Median List Price
$1150
$1200
$1100
9%
Avg Leased Price
$1250
$1301
$1182
10%
Med Leased Price
$1150
$1195
$1100
8.6%
Avg Size SQFT
1834
1883
1797
4.9%
Median SQFT
1766
1776
1734
2.4%
Avg $ per SQFT
$0.68
$0.69
$0.66
4.5%
Avg Days on Mkt
61
51
62
-18%
Median Days on Mkt
47
36
50
-28%

Below is the year-to-date summary of all rental in all areas through March 2007 compared to the year before.
Read more …

Posted by Steve
10 years ago

Austin Housing Starts Down – This is Good News

The article below is from today’s Austin Statesman. Builders have pulled back quite a bit on new home starts in Austin, mainly in the starter home market where many of the potential buyers can no longer qualify for loans due to the sub-prime mortage industry fall-out. The article states “Home starts in the $111,000-to-$150,000 range plummeted 51 percent in the first quarter, compared to a year ago. And starts for homes priced from $151,000 to $200,000 were down 35 percent. Meanwhile, starts for homes in the $251,000 to $300,000 range soared 47 percent.”

Personally, I think this is good news for the Austin housing market. Many of those first time buyers had no business becoming home owners in the first place, as evidenced by the high number of foreclosures in that sector. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I think people should have to save a downpayment and prove they can pay bills on time before having the previlige/responsibility of owning a home. Giving buyers with bad credit zero down loans to buy poor quality starter homes was, I thought, always a bad idea and I’m glad to see the market changing.

This is good news for landlords as well, as the rental pool should grow larger as we quit losing renters to “zero down” new home sales, which in large part caused our rental market to plunge from 2002 through 2005.

Home starts drop in first quarter
Austin market remains healthy, but builders are wary
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF – Friday, April 06, 2007

The softening housing market around the country may be taking a toll on Central Texas. The number of home starts in the first quarter of 2007 dropped 28 percent compared with the same period a year ago, according to figures released Thursday.

Area builders started 3,327 homes in the first quarter, down from 4,613 a year ago, according to Dallas-based Residential Strategies Inc., which tracks new-home activity. At the same time, builders sold more new homes, up 4.3 percent from the same quarter last year. And the median price rose 9.3 percent to $204,443 from the year-ago period.

Builders have become wary of starting homes in part because it’s more difficult for some buyers to qualify for mortgages, said Mark Sprague, a partner in Residential Strategies’ Austin office. The tighter credit requirements are related to the shakeout in the so-called subprime market, he said.

And that shakeout has trickled into Austin, with more stringent lending rules, he said, especially among subprime lenders, who specialize in loans to people with poor credit histories. This could cause families with lower incomes or sketchy credit to be shut out of the market.

“These challenges are primarily impacting builders in the first-time market, homes generally priced below $200,000,” said Eldon Rude, director of the Austin office of real estate research firm Metrostudy. “Builders in price points above $250,000 report that their businesses remain strong, with robust job growth and the associated flow of relocations to the Austin area supplying many of their buyers.”
Read more …

Posted by Steve
10 years ago