The Austin real estate market continues to chug along in a manner that would be considered unimpressive if not for the fact that it was expected to be doing so much worse by so many. Average sold prices are down about 3.5% and the Median is down about 2.25%. We’ll take take that. I’m not complaining.
|Austin Real Estate Sales Market Update May 2009|
|Houses only (condos, duplexes, etc. not included) compiled from Austin MLS data|
|Apr 2009||May 2009||May 2008||Yr % Change|
|Avg $ SQFT||$109.76||$116.22||$123.43||-5.85%|
|Not Sold %||40.57%||37.67%||35.10%||7.33%|
One interesting thing to note is that the “Not Solds” have dipped down to 38%, barely higher than the 35% for the same month last year. This is the first time the Pending/Withdrawn listings (not solds) have been less than 40% of the total departing Austin MLS listings since June 2008, when they represented 37% of the departing listings. We hit 61% in Jan 2009 and 62% in Nov 2008, which meant a lot of sales efforts were ending in failure last fall and winter, but things have improved a lot since then.
Personally, Sylvia and I have 6 closings this month and we are really, really busy. It’s starting to feel like 2006/2007, but the numbers don’t look like 2006/2007. We’re running really fast on our hamster wheel, but putting together transactions that stick is as hard as ever.
Below is the Year to Date (YTD) chart for Austin, followed by several other charts and graphs that will bring you up to date on current conditions in the Austin real estate market.
|Austin Sales Market YTD Update – May 2009|
|Homes only (no condos, duplexes, etc) – Data from Austin MLS|
|Jan-May 09||Jan-May 08||Yr % Change|
|Avg $ SQFT||$111.06||$116.81||-4.92%|
|Not Sold %||45%||39%||15.95%|
Year to date, as indicated in the chart above, the average sold price in Austin is down about 3%. This has been fairly steady all year. The median sold price is staying about even with last year. The Not Solds is 45% YTD for 2009 compared to 39% at the same point in time last year, but I expect that will continue to improve as we move through the year.
Below is a breakdown of May sales in Austin by price range. The MIO column on the right indicates Months of Inventory based on the sales rate of the previous 3 months. There are different ways to calculate this supply metric. Some use the past 12 months of sale to obtain the average number of sold per month, but here I use the past three months because I think it’s a more accurate reflection of current market demand.
|$149,999 or under||429||60||1585||3.59|
|$150,000 – $199,999||395||59||1644||4.55|
|$200,000 – $249,999||231||79||1120||5.08|
|$250,000 – $299,999||169||97||1022||7.02|
|$300,000 – $349,999||100||79||713||7.86|
|$350,000 – $399,999||86||100||699||10.03|
|$400,000 – $449,999||43||74||441||9.25|
|$450,000 – $499,999||36||105||434||13.85|
|$500,000 – $549,999||30||102||261||12.23|
|$550,000 – $599,999||10||106||270||23.82|
|$600,000 – $699,999||32||82||401||19.40|
|$700,000 – $799,999||9||111||243||22.09|
|$800,000 – $899,999||8||83||205||30.75|
|$900,000 – $999,999||6||77||126||18.00|
|$1,000,000 or over||20||199||625||46.88|
Based on chart above, homes in Austin that sell for less than $200K are experiencing strong demand. I experienced that firsthand last month as we sent in an offer on a home less than 3 hours after it came on the market and it had multiple offers that night. It was priced below $150K, which at 3.59 months of inventory, is a seller’s market. Homes priced at $350K and above remain in a buyer’s market, and the buyer’s market gets better as you move up in price range.
Next, below is a chart I’ve been playing with the past few months. It started as a “past 12 months” graph just to show the wild swings we’ve had in the Austin market, but since then I’ve just been tacking on the succeeding months. For May 2009, the market took another wild swing upward from the month before, jumping again above $250K for average sold price, somewhat making up for staying in a downswing for two months in a row. The Median value is flirting with $200K again.
Finally we have the historic sales chart for Austin, going back to 1999 through May 2009.
Real estate markets have to be kept in perspective. If one were to draw a line from 2004 to where we are now in the above graph, nobody would call that a bad run. Since we had a bit of a surge in 2006/2007, the current market seems weak by comparison, but it’s really not. In fact, Austin is doing very well compared to almost any other real estate market in the U.S.
Interest rates are still great, inventory is good, the government is giving free money to buyers who haven’t owned in the past three years, and Austin keeps getting mentioned in all of the affordable city lists and great places to live lists.
If the stars could be aligned any better for an Austin buyer, I’d like to know what that would look like. For sellers with homes valued at $350K or more, it’s not exactly the best time to sell, but you can still find a buyer if you are motivated.
As usual, questions and comments welcome. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Crossland Team Austin Real Estate Blog so you can stay on top of the Austin Real Estate Market every month.