The Austin real estate market is chugging through the summer and producing some interesting stats. By that I mean that the stats shown below look better than some of the actual outcomes we are seeing in the market. Some homes are selling fast, at or close to list price, and others are not moving. In years past, I could find segments of the market or trends to point to. We still have some of those – some general rules of thumb – but we see a lot of activity, or lack thereof, with no rhyme or reason.
Lets start with the Year to Date chart through July 2010. You’ll note that almost every row shows improvement over the same period a year ago.
|Austin Sales Market YTD July 2010|
|Homes only (no condos, duplexes, etc) – Data from Austin MLS|
|Jan-Jul 10||Jan-Jul 09||Yr % Change|
|Avg $ SQFT||$115.63||$112.23||3.04%|
|Not Sold %||41.21%||42.12%||-2.17%|
Volume (number sold) is up 5%, Avg Sold price is up 3.5%, Median is up 1%, Days on market (DOM) is way down, and the number of Not Solds is down slightly. In other words, it’s all good news.
But for a lot of sellers, and buyers too, it doesn’t feel like “all good news”.
Many sellers are saying “where are the buyers?” and many buyers are saying “I’m just not finding anything I like”. And the deals we are getting done almost all seem to have “down market” obsticals, mostly grounded in trepidation about the market and whether the price is right. We see more often that a seller is convinced that the agreed sales price is way too low, and at the same time the buyer is laying awake wondering if they are paying too much. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a market with so much simultaneous buyer remorse and seller remorse – about the same house!
Let’s take a look at the July stats for just the month of July.
|Austin Real Estate Sales Market Update – July 2010|
|Homes only (condos, duplexes, etc. not included) compiled from Austin MLS data|
|Jun 2010||Jul 2010||Jul 2009||Yr % Change|
|Avg $ SQFT||$122.74||$122.94||$113.76||8.07%|
|Not Sold %||41.02%||50.90%||39.29%||29.53%|
For July 2010, we’re seeing incredibly strong Austin home price increases over the same period a year ago, but we’re also seeing a spike in the number of listings that fail to sell. 51% of the listings that departed the MLS in July did so as a failed sales listing. This is the cross-current I was referring to above, where the market seems to be producing stats that are not congruent. Normally, price increases are a result of increased demand. Increased demand would normally create fewer, not more, failed sales listings. But here, we see both.
Also, we still see a lot of homes selling for less than the 2007 value, which indicates sluggish prices still, yet check the graph below, showing the average and median sales prices in the Austin sales market from 1999 through July 2010 and note the uptick in pricing for 2010.
I need to dig around the stats a bit more, but I think the increase in sales prices is a result of fewer lower priced homes selling (tax break hangover) and an increase in higher priced homes selling (more $1M+ homes are selling), thus creating the illusion that prices overall are rising when in fact it’s just a shift in price range activity.
As usual, questions and comments are welcome.