Austin Real Estate Market Update – Feb 2010 Sales

The Austin real estate market for Feb 2010 remained about the same as February a year ago. None of the measurable price metrics changes by more than a percent or two. Homes are selling faster though, and the number of failed listings (Expired/Withdrawn) is down considerably. Days on market is down 13% and the number of Exp/Withdrawn listings is down 13% also. This indicates perhaps a swelling in momentum.

Sylvia and I are seeing increased activity both with buyer inquiries and activity on our listings. Other agents we talk to are saying the same. The current tax credit incentive ($8K for first time buyers, $6,500 for move-up buyers) expires soon. Offers must be written by April 30th to qualify for the tax credit. This seems mainly to be motivating first timers. We haven’t heard from any move-up buyers motivated by collecting a $6,500 tax credit. The move-up credit is a farce because it requires the recipient to complete two real estate transactions, the cost of which would exceed the $6,500 credit. Only the people who were going to move up anyway will benefit from this useless freebie.

Upcoming factors to keep an eye on include the discontinued buying of mortgage backed securities by the government on March 31st. This has provided a marketplace for loans and kept interest rates artificially low, perhaps by as much as 1.5%. Interest rates should rise throughout the rest of 2010 and will probably be in the 6%+ range by the start of next year.

Then on May 1st, the tax credit ends which, combined with rising interest rates, could put the skids on demand in the lower price ranges. We need the lower price ranges to do well because the sellers of those homes become the buyers of the mid range homes. Of course there remains the national economy and unemployment as well. Improvement in the economy will lift consumer confidence and jobs numbers, which will positively affect the real estate market.

Below is the chart of stats for Feb 2010. Further below are the year to date and inventory stats.

Austin Real Estate Sales Market Update – Feb 2010
Homes only (condos, duplexes, etc. not included) compiled from Austin MLS data

Jan 2010 Feb 2010 Feb 2009 Yr % Change
# Sold 831 1073 1079 -0.56%
Avg List $259,388 $258,723 $260,027 -0.50%
Med List $188,000 $197,526 $199,900 -1.19%
Avg Sold $247,363 $246,644 $246,307 0.14%
Med Sold $182,000 $190,000 $193,695 -1.91%
Sold/List % 95.36% 95.33% 94.72% 0.64%
Avg SQFT 2216 2183 2208 -1.13%
Med SQFT 2039 1989 2043 -2.64%
Avg $ SQFT $111.63 $112.98 $111.55 1.28%
Avg DOM 78 73 84 -13.10%
Median DOM 50 52 64 -18.75%
# Expired 396 359 414 -13.29%
# Withdrawn 576 516 601 -14.14%
Not Sold 972 875 1015 -13.79%
Not Sold % 53.91% 44.92% 48.47% -7.33%

 

Below is the Year to Date chart for Austin. Not much difference between the same period a year before, though both the average sold price and sold price per sqft are up about 2%.

Austin Sales Market YTD Update – Feb 2010
Homes only (no condos, duplexes, etc) – Data from Austin MLS

Jan-Feb 10 Jan-Feb 09 Yr % Change
# Sold 1904 1895 0.47%
Avg List $259,013 $255,403 1.41%
Med List $191,975 $195,628 -0.02%
Avg Sold $246,958 $241,482 2.27%
Med Sold $188,425 $188,350 0.04%
Sold/List % 95.35% 94.55% 0.84%
Avg SQFT 2198 2192 0.27%
Med SQFT 2020 1995 1.25%
Avg $ SQFT $112.36 $110.17 1.99%
Avg DOM 75 83 -0.10%
Median DOM 51 65 -0.22%
# Expired 755 958 -0.21%
# Withdrawn 1092 1302 -0.16%
Not Sold 1847 2260 -0.18%
Not Sold % 49% 54% -0.09%


Below is the inventory report.

$149,999 or under 317 56 1879 5.81
$150,000 – $199,999 255 71 1808 7.08
$200,000 – $249,999 166 72 1254 8.49
$250,000 – $299,999 99 88 959 9.72
$300,000 – $349,999 64 76 623 9.35
$350,000 – $399,999 46 88 594 10.42
$400,000 – $449,999 38 96 345 10.45
$450,000 – $499,999 23 68 323 14.68
$500,000 – $549,999 15 128 183 11.93
$550,000 – $599,999 9 174 180 14.59
$600,000 – $699,999 9 118 287 24.60
$700,000 – $799,999 11 81 194 17.64
$800,000 – $899,999 5 93 149 21.29
$900,000 – $999,999 2 59 110 47.14
$1,000,000 or over 14 94 539 33.69

The inventory is actually moving in a direction more favorable to buyers than sellers, compared to last month. The chart above doesn’t make that obvious unless you follow it each month. Equilibrium is at 6.5 months inventory, and every price range except the lowest is above that. Of course this is citywide and doesn’t reflect the fact that some pockets, such as South Austin, are very busy while outlying areas are very slow, even in the lower ranges.

The inventory chart, more than any other, and viewed in the context of upcoming increases in interest rate and no more buyer credits, causes me to question the strength of the Austin market at present. I think we’re going to pick up steam for the next 2 months then possibly hit calm waters through the end of the year, maybe even slide back a bit in prices, then pick up steam again spring of 2011 for a 5 year run of increasing prices and demand.

Posted by Steve
6 years ago
Steve

Steve is a Real Estate Blogger, Husband and Dad, UT Austin Grad, Runner, Real Estate Broker and owner of Crossland Team and Crossland Real Estate in Austin TX.

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Tony C - 6 years ago

Steve, you might want to try using a trailing 12 month graph. It is much easier to see trends with the noise of seasonality completely removed.

For # units sold, you would add the last 12 months sold and then plot that for each month. This would allow you to see the trend in number sold year over year rather than presenting it as two columns which doesnt show you the trends.

Doing averages is a little more tricky. For average sold price, you would need to add up the total sold prices for the year then divide by the number of units sold. This would allow you to graph the sold prices while comparing year over year.

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Steve - 6 years ago

Hi Tony,

Thanks. Not really sure what trend you want to see. 99% of us only care about year over year changes, though it’s useful to know how yearly changes fit into historic patterns.

Maybe I’m not understanding. Do you have a graph or chart you can point to as an example?

Steve

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