Austin Real Estate Market Update – October 2011 Stats

Below are the Austin housing market stats for October 2011 and year to date.

Austin Sales Market Update – October 2011
Homes only (condos, duplexes, etc. not included) compiled from Austin MLS data

Sep 2011 Oct 2011 Oct 2010 Yr % Change
# Sold 1601 1346 1202 11.98%
Avg List $262,989 $267,793 $278,846 -3.96%
Med List $197,999 $199,900 $206,500 -3.20%
Avg Sold $252,815 $257,957 $264,112 -2.33%
Med Sold $192,000 $192,650 $199,925 -3.64%
Sold/List % 96.13% 96.33% 94.72% 1.70%
Avg SQFT 2226 2228 2276 -2.11%
Med SQFT 2044 1992 2058 -3.21%
Avg $ SQFT $113.57 $115.78 $116.04 -0.23%
Avg DOM 76 78 87 -10.34%
Median DOM 52 55 67 -17.91%
# Expired 478 434 704 -38.35%
# Withdrawn 800 703 976 -27.97%
Not Sold 1278 1137 1680 -32.32%
Not Sold % 44.39% 45.79% 58.29% -21.45%


As shown above, average and median sold prices are down 2.3% and 3.6% for Oct 2011 compared to Oct 2010. The number of homes sold increased and the number of failed sales efforts (Withdrawn or Expired) decreased. The sold to list price ratio increased a bit and the Days on Market improved.

Nothing really suprising or new here. The Austin real etstae market is still moving along somewhat, treading water for the most part. See the Year to Date and 44 month graphs below.

Year to date stats through Oct 2011 look more promising, from a color-code standpoint, but the movements are small.

Austin Sales Market Update – October 2011
Homes only (no condos, duplexes, etc) – Data from Austin MLS

Jan-Oct 11 Jan-Oct 10 Yr % Change
# Sold 16,054 15,100 6.32%
Avg List $271,683 $266,959 1.77%
Med List $200,000 $199,900 0.05%
Avg Sold $260,877 $256,007 1.90%
Med Sold $195,538 $195,000 0.28%
Sold/List % 96.02% 95.90% 0.13%
Avg SQFT 2,238 2,214 1.08%
Med SQFT 2,028 2,020 0.40%
Avg $ SQFT $116.57 $115.63 0.81%
Avg DOM 79 70 12.86%
Median DOM 51 45 13.33%
# Expired 3,641 4,830 -24.62%
# Withdrawn 6,524 8,129 -19.74%
Not Sold 10,165 12,959 -21.56%
Not Sold % 39% 46% -16.06%


Below is a “past months” chart I started a few years ago. I paiants a pretty good graphical picture of the Austin real estate market price movements the past 44 months. Pretty boring except for that one blip there in summer 2010 which quickly subsided.

Austin Home Sales March 2008 through Oct 2011
Monthy Avg and Median Sold prices for Austin Homes


You can sort of see on the chart above that average prices want to increase, but really just haven’t more than a slight amount. This is over a 44 month period, almost 4 years. Still, many real estate markets in the US have done much worse over the same time period, so we’re not complaining.

We have job growth in Austin. We have good interest rates. But we also have a lot of financial uncertainty nationally and internationally, and an upcoming election. Investors are out there, just not that many. Many investors can’t get loans. Buyers seem content to wait, though we’re still closing deals each month.

I feel like there is pent up demand in the Austin market that is going to explode at some point. Our leasing market is very strong with very qualified renters who could actually buy, but are renting first.

Questions and Comments welcome.

12 thoughts on “Austin Real Estate Market Update – October 2011 Stats”

  1. WOW, Steve –
    Almost 1/2 of listings so far this calendar year did not sell? I noticed an increase in the number of homes I have worked with this year that “fall off the market” = my term for don’t sell for what ever reason. Anecdotally, it’s been an interesting year with some homes moving surprisingly fast and other attractive homes sitting for months without visits. Very interesting to see that 46% number…

  2. Hi Michael,

    Yeah, the “Not Solds” aka “Failed Sales Efforts” usually stay steady in the high 40% range, sometimes over 50% in a given month, even over 60% in Oct 2008 I think.

    You summed it up well. We see some homes move fast, others not at all. Often no rhyme or reason.

    Thanks for commenting.


  3. Steve good info as always. The numbers in second chart lower right have typos, should be like -25% or -23% not -0.25% or -0.23%. The market in SF Bay Area is similar, higher number of sales but flat to slightly lower prices. Of course data varies greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. Arn

  4. Looking at movoto maps and other map websites etc, to me it seems there is froth in the bottom of the barrel East Austin real estate market. Two examples…in the Mexican streets (Perez, Luna, Cometa) they are trying to sell lots for $50,000. What?? Those lots look like they should be worth $25000 tops. Secondly, there was a house (forget the address) in East Austin…windows boarded up, no interior shots…would “make a great home”…$75000. And those were lowest prices I could find…a little frothy..yeah.

  5. Hi Shannon,

    Rough rule of thumb on lots – they are typical worth 1/4 or 1/5 the market value of a completed home. So, if I was going to pay $50K for a lot, I’d expect to be able to build a $250K home, $300K to be safe. That’s doable in East Austin.

    Of course cost of construction + carrying costs during the process would have to fit into the equation also.


  6. “I feel like there is pent up demand in the Austin market that is going to explode at some point. Our leasing market is very strong with very qualified renters who could actually buy, but are renting first.”

    This is what I am very curious about. I would guess you have a better feel for this than I would given that you are in the industry day-in and day-out. But I am one of the people you are talking about.

    I currently lease, but could easily buy. Steady job and plenty for a down payment. But as much as I would love to have a “place of my own,” I don’t have any desire to actually buy.

    Coming from a different part of Texas, Austin’s market seems highly inflated in comparison. I know all real estate is local, but when you see some of the costs in decent neighborhoods, it’s almost jaw-dropping. Meanwhile, people are bombarded with bad economic news, stories of underwater homes, and horror stories of people being up to their eyeballs in debt.

    So why buy? After all, interest rates have done nothing but fall for years, so there is no urgency on that front. And even with the job growth in Austin and low rates, the market is simply treading water.

  7. Hi Tanner,

    If you’re happy renting and not in a hurry, I’m not one of those Realtors who would say “you’re making a mistake” by not buying. But, if you know you will want to own eventually, and you know you’ll live in the home at least 5 years, this is in fact a very good time to buy a home in Austin. Your accountant could explain the actual financial benefits from a “hard numbers” standpoint as it would affect your personal income, tax, and wealth building strategy.

    Your biggest risk is that as rents will continue to rise, you do eventually say “forget it” to a rent increase and by then values and interest rates have increased such that, in hindsight, you realize it would have been a pretty good idea to buy a home in Austin in 2012 at 4% interest..

    What’s weird is, everything is topsy turvy. Statistically, even nationwide, housing affordability has NEVER been better. Yet, so many like yourself, say “no thanks” to home ownership because a) it has been so tainted by the irresponsible behavior of consumers, the government and the financial industry that “buying a home”, to many, just seems stupid, and b) economic uncertainty is preventing people from making big decisions, even those with stable jobs and finances.


  8. I find the very significant May-June price peaks every year interesting. Is it possible to simply buy low in winter sell high in late Spring every year, or are the higher quality properties off the market in winter?

  9. Hi Ray,

    > Is it possible to simply buy low in winter sell high in late Spring every year.

    I don’t think so. We’d have to dig into the mix of homes sold more closely to see if, for example, more high end homes sell in the summer than in fall/winter, thus skewing the price up in the summer. Also, it’s likely that more “tired” sellers finally give in and become more flexible on price after summer ends, thus skewing fall/winter prices downward.

    We do advise not selling this time of year if it can be helped. That said, homes do sell at all times of year, and not necessarily at discounts. One down the street from me just sold in 7 days with one crappy photo in the MLS and no staging or landscaping.


  10. Good to see the market is still moving around Austin. The higher end has been totally dead since June, very few transactions at all. Any idea why?

  11. I just checked the Zillow Zestimate prices for my property in Round rock and was shocked to see a sudden dip in prices in the last few months as much as 30%. It doesnt seem to be an abberation. I see across the board price dips for most of round rock.

    After seeing your “real” statistics, I am inclined to believe that those Zillow Zestimate numbers are broken.

    I would love to hear your take on this.


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