Austin Real Estate Market Update – April 2009 Sales

The median sold price for houses in Austin was up 0.56% for April compared to April 2008. The average sold price was down 3.56%. Number of sales is down 21% from a year earlier for single family homes. In short, Austin remains a stubborn real estate market for those who were expecting some sort of major decline. I would characterize it still as a soft market, with pockets and price ranges that remain strong. This is the 4th month of the past 6 that average sold prices have remained below $240K, and it’s the first time that avg sold price has stayed below $240K two months in a row.

See the chart below for the past 14 months average and median sales by month. Monthly and YTD charts are further below.

Austin Sales Market History

The month of April compared to a year ago breaks down as follows:

 • Number of homes sold is down 21.45% (was down 27% last month) from 1,902 Apr 2008 to 1,494 Apr 2009. The number of sales is however increasing for the third month in a row, and 1,494 for April is the highest total number we’ve seen since Sep 2008 when we had 1,512 sales. We bottomed out at 770 sales in January 2009.
• Average list prices in Austin were down 3% over the same month last year to $246,084.
• Average sold prices in Austin were down 3.56% over the same month last year to $235,376 from $244,057 a year ago.
• Median sold price was up 0.53% to $190,000. Last year in April it was $189,000.
• Average List to Sold price ratio is 95.65%, down slightly from 96.48% the same month last year. Note that this reports the sold price compared to the last list price, not the original list price.
• Avg sold price per square foot is down 4.55% to $110 compared to $115 a year ago in April.
• Avg days on market is up 11 days (17%) from 64 last year to 75 this April.
• Median days on market is up 5 days (13%) from 39 days last year to 44 Mar this year, meaning half of all homes sold in Austin in April were on the market 44 days or less. Not bad actually.
• Number of “Not Sold” (exp or withdrawn) is up 2.57% (was up 20% last month) over the same month last year, to 41% of all removed listings compared to 35% for the same month last year.

The chart below show the figures for April 2009 compared to April 2008 and March 2009.

Austin Real Estate Sales Market Update April 2009
Houses only (condos, duplexes, etc. not included) compiled from Austin MLS data

Mar 2009 Apr 2009 Apr 2008 Yr % Change
# Sold 1353 1494 1902 -21.45%
Avg List $246,420 $246,084 $252,962 -2.72%
Med List $189,900 $198,750 $194,990 1.93%
Avg Sold $234,319 $235,376 $244,057 -3.56%
Med Sold $184,920 $190,000 $189,000 0.53%
Sold/List % 95.09% 95.65% 96.48% -0.86%
Avg SQFT 2175 2136 2114 1.04%
Med SQFT 1977 1946 1925 1.09%
Avg $ SQFT $107.73 $110.19 $115.45 -4.55%
Avg DOM 84 75 64 17.19%
Median DOM 59 44 39 12.82%
# Expired 420 391 529 -26.09%
# Withdrawn 596 648 484 33.88%
Not Sold 1016 1039 1013 2.57%
Not Sold % 42.89% 41.02% 34.75% 18.03%

The Year to Date Austin real estate sales figures are below. Note at the bottom of the left column the Not Solds are still 48% year to date, meaning about half of all listings that have departed the Austin MLS through April this year did so as failed sales efforts. So, there remains two markets. The happy sellers who succeeded in selling, and the frustrated sellers who gave up.

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

Jan-Apr 09 Jan-Apr 08 Yr % Change
# Sold 4732 6483 -27.01%
Avg List $249,808 $253,627 -1.51%
Med List $194,900 $194,900 0.00%
Avg Sold $237,408 $243,533 -2.52%
Med Sold $188,000 $188,000 0.00%
Sold/List % 95.04% 96.02% -1.02%
Avg SQFT 2168 2123 2.12%
Med SQFT 1971 1932 2.02%
Avg $ SQFT $109.51 $114.71 -4.54%
Avg DOM 81 69 17.39%
Median DOM 55 46 19.57%
# Expired 1770 2160 -18.06%
# Withdrawn 2546 2210 15.20%
Not Sold 4316 4370 -1.24%
Not Sold % 48% 40% 18.47%

Finally, I’ll note as I have before, that even though we have what could rightly be called a “weak” or “soft” real estate market in Austin, the high number of “Not Solds” illustrates the frustration that some buyers are feeling when they can’t get sellers to come way off the price and provide the buyer with a killer deal.

If you are a value oriented buyer looking for the best deal possible, these recalcitrant sellers who say “no thanks” to your lowball offers and won’t deal, but instead simply pull their properties from the market are saying “I’m not that desperate. I’ll wait and sell later”.

If you’re a buyer waiting for the bottom to fall out, it ain’t gonna happen here in Austin. We may already be there and this is as good of a buying opportunity as you’re likely to ever see again with interest rates below 5% and an $8,000 tax credit (that’s $8,000 in your pocket off the top) for buyers who have not owned in the past 3 years.

7 thoughts on “Austin Real Estate Market Update – April 2009 Sales”

  1. hi. nice site. i suggest that you should also add a sign up/subscribe button.i can’t seem to find one. thanks.

  2. Steve,

    You said “Median days on market is up 15 days (13%) from 39 days last year to 44 Mar this year, meaning half of all homes sold in Austin in April were on the market 44 days or less. Not bad actually.”

    Checking your math, shouldn’t that read “from 39 days to 54 days in March this year?”

  3. “Number of homes sold is down 21.45% (was down 27% last month) from 1,902 Apr 2008 to 1,494 Apr 2009.”

    Number of HOUSES sold is down… the condo I bought and lived in from 1997 to 2003 was my home, and still would be if we lived there.

  4. > Checking your math, shouldn’t that read “from 39 days to 54 days in March this year?”

    Should have said 5 days, not 15. I fixed it. Thanks for pointing that out.


    Point taken, on the semantics of house vs. home. Technically I suppose you are correct. I do think most people think of “house” and “home” as synonyms and most people call a condo a condo, a townhome a townhome, a loft a loft, etc.

    In fact, the insurance for a free standing condo I manage is termed “unit owner’s policy” whereas insurance on houses are called “home owner policies”. So you’d have to take up your beef with the insurance industry as well.

    Nevertheless, I shall endeavor to be more clear in labeling a house a house.


  5. Steve-

    As always, I appreciate that you provide this data. Do you have breakdowns by price point?


  6. Well, I’d say that $8k seems like a bargain until next year when that 8k incentive is gone and interest rates are higher. That will most likely pressure prices down by more than 8k to allow the market to clear, so that 8k is likely not getting you anything at all.

  7. Steve,

    Agreed the dwellings are qualitatively different. But the problem is that when talking about sales, it perpetuates the idea among the public that you buy a house and rent everything else (which is damaging when you consider the affordable housing debate implications in an area where single-family homes in the urban core are never again going to be ‘affordable’, realistically).

    In other words, right in my wheelhouse — I often have to argue against people who automatically think “home = house” about affordability (the typical Yogi Berraisms don’t seem to work – Manhattan is so crowded that nobody can afford to live there, i.e.).


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