Average sales values for single family homes in Austin fell 5.43% for January 2009 compared to Jan 2008. Median values fell as well, by 4.80%. Number of sales fell 40% and the number of Not Solds (expired/withdrawn) for Jan was 61% of all listings that departed the MLS. And yet, despite this, finding a “smokin’ hot deal” in Austin just ain’t that easy. Sellers are hanging tight for the most part, and simply pulkling listings from the market if they can’t get their price. Combine that with buyer reticence and we have what I’d call a “stalled” market.
It’s definately a Buyer’s market, but only for buyers willing to work hard. And sellers can sell, but many sales attempts will fail.
|Austin Real Estate Sales Market Update for January 2009|
|Homes only (condos, duplexes, etc. not included) compiled from Austin MLS data|
|Dec 2008||Jan 2009||Jan 2008||Yr % Change|
|Avg $ SQFT||$113.41||$108.68||$115.35||-5.78%|
|Not Sold %||57.69%||61.31%||48.35%||26.81%|
One thing to note on the Not Solds data, though not shown in the chart above, is that I ran the stats for homes that listed for $200K and less, and the not solds were at 54% instead of 61%. For properties listed for more than $200K, the not solds were 68% of all listings, meaning 68% of all listings that departed the MLS in January we failed sales attempts. That’s simply a super high ratio, and something serious sellers would be dumb to ignore when deciding on preperation and pricing strategy.
Let’s look now at the breakout of what is selling by price range, and current months inventory. This will show number of sold for the different price ranges, Days on Market (DOM), number of currently active listings, and the number of months it would take to absorb the current inventory based on the trailing 3 month sales rate.
|Price Range||# Sold||DOM||Active||Months Supply|
|$149,999 or under||266||61||1596||5.08|
|$150,000 – $199,999||173||77||1404||5.80|
|$200,000 – $249,999||104||98||1059||8.02|
|$250,000 – $299,999||60||101||913||10.41|
|$300,000 – $349,999||61||90||573||9.34|
|$350,000 – $399,999||32||90||577||14.55|
|$400,000 – $449,999||23||112||334||11.52|
|$450,000 – $499,999||8||81||338||21.57|
|$500,000 – $549,999||8||128||193||16.08|
|$550,000 – $599,999||8||145||227||21.97|
|$600,000 – $699,999||10||128||295||24.58|
|$700,000 – $799,999||6||134||204||25.50|
|$800,000 – $899,999||2||83||151||28.31|
|$900,000 – $999,999||1||0||98||49.00|
|$1,000,000 or over||8||183||458||40.41|
The far column to the right show months of inventory. In a normal, balanced market, one in which neither the seller or buyer has a market advantage, inventory would be around 6 months. That’s the generally accepted number in the industry. Inventory greater than 6 months is a buyer’s market, as buyers have a lot of inventory to pick from. Less than 6 months is a seller’s market, meaning sellers have plenty of buyers competing for the existing homes for sale.
The $200,000 and below price range in Austin is doing ok for the most part, though the “Not Solds” for this segment are still about 53%. So, with 5.8 months of inventory, it would seem to be a balanced market below $200K. Mainly it’s the higher range stuff that’s really hurting as you can see by the inventory levels. Lower priced properties in outskirt areas are suffering also due to location, which I think skews the not sold ratio a bit. But homes in the $200K range that are well located, priced right and in good shape are experiencing a much different real estate market than the higher priced homes.
Finally, a picture is worth a thousand words. Below is a graph of the average and median sales prices in Austin from 1999 through Jan 2009. Note that the dip in the Jan 2009 may be somewhat misleading since Jan is typically a slower, lower sales value time of year. However, since Jan was in fact down 5%, and since I think 2009 might be down 3% to 5% for the entire year, this is what the chart would look liak at the end of 2009 if I’m right.
As usual, comments and questions are welcome.