Austin Real Estate Market Update – Feb 2008

The average sales price for single family homes in Austin FELL in Feb 2008 compared to Feb 2007. In the 2 and a half years I’ve been posting Austin real estate stats on this blog, this is the first year over year drop. How much did prices fall? Well, -0.07%. But it’s a number with a minus sign in front nonetheless. Last month, Jan, saw a rise of 6.61%. The year 2007 was up 6.62% over 2006. So what happened in February?

I can’t personally answer that question yet. Sylvia and I have been swamped since New Years. We wrote more volume in sales than any other team in our office for Feb (a “Team” is a two person entity at Keller Williams, a “Group” is 3 or more working together), and we’ve had a heck of a time finding reasonable deals for our buyers (see my write-ups on over-priced listings and stubborn sellers).

I’ll dig deeper into the numbers and report what I find in Part II of this month’s stats report, but a quick peek tells me is that area SWW, where we specialize, is up 8% from last year, so we just are not experiencing what the macro stats indicate. It’s most likely the outskirt areas that have fallen, dragging down the area-wide average sales price. I doubt that any of the closer in areas we work (South/SW Austin, Central, W, NW) have fallen. We’ll know for sure after I find time to run an area by area breakdown.

Below is the chart for Feb 2008 austin sales market. Remember, I only run single family homes. Condo sales are not included.

Austin Sales Stats Feb 2008
Previous Month and Year Comparison
All MLS Areas - Houses Only

Jan 2008
Feb 2008
Feb 2007
Yr % Change
# Sold
Avg List Price
Median List Price
Avg Sold Price
Med Sold Price
Avg Size SQFT
Median SQFT
Avg $ per SQFT
Avg Days on Mkt
Median Days on Mkt
# Expired
# Withdrawn
Total NOT Sold
Not Sold %

As you can see above, number of sales was down 16%, Avg Sold price was down 0.07% in Feb from the same month last year, median price is up 2%, and the average days on market have increased 9% while the median days on market have 26%.

And my new stat that I track each month, NOT SOLDS, increased 53% over Feb 2007. 41% of the homes that fell out of the MLS in Feb-08were expired or withdrawn instead of Sold. In Feb-07 it was 28%. So we continue to see more inventory than demand can absorb, but that can mask the fact that some areas of Austin are extremely strong still.

Below is the Year to Date chart, which of course this early in the year is simply January and February.

Austin YTD Sales Stats Feb 2008
Year to Date with Previous Year Comparison
All MLS Areas - Houses Only

Jan-Feb 2008
Jan-Feb 2007
Yr % Change
# Sold
Avg List Price
Median List Price
Avg Sold Price
Med Sold Price
Avg Size SQFT
Median SQFT
Avg $ per SQFT
Avg Days on Mkt
Median Days on Mkt
# Expired
# Withdrawn
Total Not Sold
Not Sold %

Below is a graph showing Austin’s price appreciation from 1999 through 2008 YTD.
Austin Real Estate Market Sales History

8 thoughts on “Austin Real Estate Market Update – Feb 2008”

  1. I am no real estate expert, but I love keeping up with the local information. (So thank you for freely sharing it!) I find it so fascinating that within a market there are actually a lot of micro-markets, whether speaking geographically or in specific price ranges. Wouldn’t it just be fun to run the numbers on all the possible micro-markets? It’d also be great to understand better what’s causing the various trends. It’s too bad the MLS data is not as accessible as we’d like.

  2. Steve…Do you have stats broken out for the LS area? And…I know I’m speaking for the regular readers… thanks for taking the time to put up such an informative and interesting blog.

  3. Hi Julia: You can see 2007 Austin market stats broken down by MLS area at this link:

    Ted: Area LS has some interesting numbers:
    MLS Area LS Feb 2007 Avg Sold = $441,707
    MLS Area LS Feb 2008 Avg Sold = $376,920
    That’s a drop of $64,787 which is -15%

    There were 43 sales in Feb 2007 with 7 below $200K and 2 above $1M. For Feb 2008 there were 9 below $200K and 1 above $1M. With such a small sample size, the extra $1M sale in 2007 would make a big difference. A home in LS that sold for $441K a year ago would NOT bring only $376K today, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it sold for the same or a bit less.

    I think LS has been somewhat overbuilt. The stats support that. At present there are 740 Active listings and only 91 Pending. That’s a very lopsided ratio of Active/Pending. (11% of all listings are under contract) The average days on market for active listings in LS is 109. If I were listing a home in that area, I’d take note of these stats, but I’d also narrow it down to the specific neighborhood. Certain pockets might be doing better or worse.

    Compare that to area SWW where there are at present 143 Active listings and 61 Pending. (30% of all listings are under contract). The average days on market of the Active listings is 54 days. In a hot market, we’ll see Pendings at 50% or higher (more Pendings than Actives) and we saw that a lot in 2006 and the first part of 2007. 30% is still a strong ratio though.

    Hopefully I’ll have the breakdown for all areas up this weekend. Meantime, there is the link above with the 2006/2007 comparisons.


  4. Steve,

    How are the townhomes in the SW area, (Convict Hill and Escarpment) such as the legends doing in this market? Are rentals in that area (78749) slow….Ca investor…….not sure if my agent is not working hard or just a slow market?

    Unit is priced $1285.00 3/2.3 2 car attached…1552 sr…….A unit……….on the market 25 days…..nurmerous showing…..cheapest in the mls in that zip..curious.

    Native Texan

  5. I’m not a realtor, but I do follow the bond markets and I think the high end of the market still has a ways to go. The financial markets are not going to support reasonably priced rate jumbo loans anytime soon. Its hard to sell AAA municipal bonds let alone jumbo personal mortgages. Even the GSEs don’t really want to do them even if congress says its ok to, but here in Texas, no market qualifies for the higher loan limit anyway.
    The market is going to be limited to people with large down payments and when your purchasing a $500,000 home, maybe thats a good thing for the market long term. I am curious about the sales of these high end homes though. For the realtors out there, how many of your clients had little or no down payment, or got their down payment from appreciation on their previous property? I’ve seen a lot of expensive homes go up in Austin and the surrounding area over the past ten years, but I’ve also seen a lot of diverse economic development that should justify many of these homes. I think that is what has set Austin and even Texas apart from other markets that have seen double digit real estate depreciation.

  6. Right on Barry… Lakeway sellers are going to have to facts that it’s tedious at best for buyers to get a pricey jumbo mortgage right now. And good luck getting those homes priced at over $200/sq ft appraised.

  7. This is a quote from Steve’s Feb Stat Report 2006 in regards to a when the busy season is for real estate. This might explain why the Feb 2008 stats are what they are. Steve said it himself “barring any world events or financial crisis that affect mortgage rates”

    Steve Crossland Says:

    April 7th, 2006 at 8:08 pm
    Hi Marci,

    Thanks for your comment.
    Generally most people in the US move during the months of May through August when school is out, so those are busy months in real estate sales and leasing. Yes, you are hoping in vain if waiting for the Austin real estate market to cool off. We’re in for a good stretch in this cycle, barring any world events or financial crisis that affect mortgage rates.


    We are in the middle of a crazy historical financial domino effect of events in the US finacial world and it all started with the mortgage industry-our whole economy – pension funds-retirement funds-banks. You name it. Bear Stearns was just sold on a Sunday night for $2 a share. The feds dropped intest rates that same night in order to ease Monday morning trading. We are in for a long ride here. Luckly Austin is an awesome place to live but we are not immune to a US recession. Our banks are in trouble.

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