Austin Real Estate Market – 2010 Breakdown by MLS Area

Real Estate Market Stats

Below is a chart breaking down the 2010/2009 sales comparisons by MLS Area for the Austin real estate market. This time I’m adding a couple of new things. First, there is color coding on each of the summary rows for each area. A green shade indicates “improvement” in the measured metric. I put “improved” in quotes because it’s debatable what that means, and for whom, so perhaps a better word to use would simply be “increase” toward seller’s market. Note that a decrease in Days on Market is an “improvement”, however, as it means homes are selling faster, so a negative number on DOM is coded green and vice-versa, whereas the other negative numbers are red. Confusing enough? I hope not.

Next, I added a new column called SP/OLP which is the Sold Price divided by the Original List Price. I think this is a useful metric to observe as it informs us of the gap between the original list price a seller was hoping to obtain and the ultimate sold price achieved. This is more useful to know than the more commonly reported metric of SP/LP (Sold Price/List Price) because it doesn’t disguise the price drops that occurred before the home eventually sold.

In other words, a home that started at a list price of $300K, was eventually dropped to $270K, and then sold for the $270K list price, would produce a SP/LP ratio of 100%, but a SP/OLP of 90%. The 90% is a more accurate measure of market strength or weakness in a given area. You’ll see below that some areas are right at 95% (which is pretty good) and some are below 90%, which is a tougher market requiring bigger price drops.

OK then, let’s take a quick look at the new format using the cumulative sold data for all of 2010 compared to 2009.

All MLS # Sold Avg Sold Med Sold Avg SQFT Avg PSF Avg Days Med Days SP/OLP
2010 17,709 $255,049 $195,000 2,214 $115.20 73 48 93.19
2009 18,636 $245,765 $190,000 2,177 $112.89 75 47 95.2
Change -4.97% 3.78% 2.63% 1.70% 2.04% -2.67% 2.13% -2.11%

So, with the color coding, this allows a “quick glance” gleaning of which areas saw increases/decrease in the measered metrics across the board.  We can see above, looking at the entire Austin MLS market as a whole, that the average sold price increased 3.78%, median sold also increased, by 2.63%, Sold Price Per Square Foot increase 2.04%, and homes sold faster when looking at Avg Days on Market. But we also see that 5% fewer homes sold (lower demand) and that the median DOM and the SP/OLP ratios worsened. This “mixed” market is in fact what most areas produce.

One last aside, if an MLS Area is mostly red all the way across, such as Area 10S, does that mean buyers should avoid that area? Absolutely not. This is a look in the rear view mirror and doesn’t necessarily predict the future or indicate a trend. Same with areas that did well in 2010. This is just a snap shop of what happened in the given year 2010 compared to the year prior. If you own a home in an area that had a dog year, your particular neighborhood or size/price of home may have perfromed differently, and that won’t be reflected in this type of macro analysis of area-wide stats.

OK, the entire Austin MLS is broken down by MLS Area in the chart below. As usual, questions, comments, observations are welcome.

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Tax Credit Effect on Austin Real Estate Market

tax credits

The $8,000 buyer tax credit ended April 30, 2010. Take a look at the following graph to see the effect the tax credit had on buyer activity in Austin TX.  This shows Pending activity for Austin MLS listings going back to Jan 2005 through April 2010. The green line is 2010. The previous years of 2007, 2008, 2009 are represented by the other colored lines.

Austin Pending Listings Graph 2007 through April 2010I used Pending listings because a lot of the April Pending sales haven’t closed yet, but anything that qualified for the tax credit would have to be Pending by April 30th, so this gives us a sneak peek at what the sales data will look like for May closed sales.

A couple of interesting things to note here. I went back to 2007 because that was the peak year for Austin. As you can see on the chart, April Pending listings exceeded the peak year of 2007 for April. I suspect we’ve never experienced an April in Austin where almost 3,000 homes received accepted offers.What does this mean for the future?

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Austin Real Estate Market Update – March 2010

Real Estate Market Stats

The Austin real estate market for March 2010 saw a not surprising 22% increase in the number of sales compared to the same month a year ago. Average sold price was up 2.22%, median sold was slightly down at -0.66%. Before we call that “good news”, it would help to know that March 2009 was the lowest point in average/median sales prices in the past 2+ years. March 2010 average sales price is still lower than March 2008, two years ago, so average values are still treading water at best.

The Not Solds (expired/withdrawn) are down to 37% from 42.5% a year ago and 44% last month. First time buyers seeking the $8,000 tax credit are creating higher than normal demand. The question is what the market will do after the April 30th end date for tax credit buyers.

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

Feb 2010 Mar 2010 Mar 2009 Yr % Change
# Sold 1089 1671 1372 21.79%
Avg List $257,450 $249,373 $246,760 1.06%
Med List $195,234 $189,000 $189,900 -0.47%
Avg Sold $245,515 $239,983 $234,767 2.22%
Med Sold $190,000 $183,673 $184,900 -0.66%
Sold/List % 95.36% 96.23% 95.14% 1.15%
Avg SQFT 2180 2145 2176 -1.42%
Med SQFT 1989 1945 1976 -1.57%
Avg $ SQFT $112.62 $111.88 $107.89 3.70%
Avg DOM 73 69 84 -17.86%
Median DOM 53 40 59 -32.20%
# Expired 362 362 422 -14.22%
# Withdrawn 515 640 593 7.93%
Not Sold 877 1002 1015 -1.28%
Not Sold % 44.61% 37.49% 42.52% -11.84%


Year to date, through March, average sold price is up about 2%. Number sold is up 10%. Other stats are relatively unchanged.

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Austin Real Estate Market Update – Feb 2010 Sales

The Austin real estate market for Feb 2010 remained about the same as February a year ago. None of the measurable price metrics changes by more than a percent or two. Homes are selling faster though, and the number of failed listings (Expired/Withdrawn) is down considerably. Days on market is down 13% and the number of Exp/Withdrawn listings is down 13% also. This indicates perhaps a swelling in momentum.

Sylvia and I are seeing increased activity both with buyer inquiries and activity on our listings. Other agents we talk to are saying the same. The current tax credit incentive ($8K for first time buyers, $6,500 for move-up buyers) expires soon. Offers must be written by April 30th to qualify for the tax credit. This seems mainly to be motivating first timers. We haven’t heard from any move-up buyers motivated by collecting a $6,500 tax credit. The move-up credit is a farce because it requires the recipient to complete two real estate transactions, the cost of which would exceed the $6,500 credit. Only the people who were going to move up anyway will benefit from this useless freebie.

Upcoming factors to keep an eye on include the discontinued buying of mortgage backed securities by the government on March 31st. This has provided a marketplace for loans and kept interest rates artificially low, perhaps by as much as 1.5%. Interest rates should rise throughout the rest of 2010 and will probably be in the 6%+ range by the start of next year.

Then on May 1st, the tax credit ends which, combined with rising interest rates, could put the skids on demand in the lower price ranges. We need the lower price ranges to do well because the sellers of those homes become the buyers of the mid range homes. Of course there remains the national economy and unemployment as well. Improvement in the economy will lift consumer confidence and jobs numbers, which will positively affect the real estate market.

Below is the chart of stats for Feb 2010. Further below are the year to date and inventory stats.

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Austin Real Estate Market – 2009 MLS Area Breakdown

The 2009 Austin real estate market saw most MLS Area sales stats decline somewhat. In fact, 2008 was a stronger year than 2009 on most metrics, though 2009 overall is not what anyone would term a “bad” year for Austin real estate, especially when compared to other U.S. real estate markets. Here is a summary of the breakdown:

Of the 50 Austin MLS areas tracked in the report below, 10 experienced an increase in average sold price. That’s only 20% of MLS areas enjoying a price increase compared to 64% of the Austin MLS areas with rising average prices in 2008.

Of the 50 Austin MLS areas tracked, 11 experienced an increase in median sold price. That’s 22% for 2009 compared to 60% of the Austin MLS areas with rising median sold prices in 2008.

Of the 50 Austin MLS areas tracked, only one (area 5E) experienced an increase in average sold price per square foot. That’s only 2% compared to 55% of the Austin MLS areas with rising sold prices per square foot in 2008.

Of the 50 Austin MLS areas tracked, NONE experienced an increase in ALL THREE of the above metrics – average, median and per sqft sold prices. That’s 0% for 2009 compared to 40% of the Austin MLS areas with rising metrics in the main three performance measurements for 2008.

Check the chart below to see how your area did.

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Austin Real Estate Market Update – December 2009

The Austin real estate market ended 2009 on an up note, with both average and median sold prices up more than 5% over Dec 2008. Oh, but wait … December 2008 was a dismal month because we all still thought the financial world was falling off a cliff. But the stats are what they are so let’s have a look.

Number of homes sold is down 4.39% from a year ago, which is a small decrease compared to the numbers we were seeing earlier this year. Average list price is up 3.71% to $276,387, Median List Price is up 5.22% to $199,900, Average sold price is up 5.15%, Median  sold is up 5.39%, the Sold/List % is up 1.39% to 95.54%. And Average Price per Square Foot of sold homes is also up, by 1.11%, to $115.36.

Average Days on Market was up about 4% to 82 days, but Median Days on Market was down 14% to 48 days. The number of Not Sold was down also, though at 56% still a big number, but that’s normal for December when lots of sellers give up for the holidays.

Here is the chart showing Nov/Dec 2009 and Dec 2008 sales stats.

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

Nov 2009 Dec 2009 Dec 2008 Yr % Change
# Sold 1515 1219 1275 -4.39%
Avg List $252,963 $276,387 $266,498 3.71%
Med List $185,000 $199,900 $189,990 5.22%
Avg Sold $242,349 $264,061 $251,128 5.15%
Med Sold $180,000 $194,858 $184,900 5.39%
Sold/List % 95.80% 95.54% 94.23% 1.39%
Avg SQFT 2113 2289 2201 4.00%
Med SQFT 1896 2050 1981 3.48%
Avg $ SQFT $114.69 $115.36 $114.10 1.11%
Avg DOM 73 82 79 3.80%
Median DOM 44 48 56 -14.29%
# Expired 474 854 866 -1.39%
# Withdrawn 832 699 851 -17.86%
Not Sold 1306 1553 1717 -9.55%
Not Sold % 46.30% 56.02% 57.39% -2.37%

So, that’s a bunch of numbers, but what does it all mean? Is the Austin real estate market rebounding from the slight decline of 2009? I think it is. 2010 will be better than 2009 for sellers. Buyers will still find plenty of good opportunities though.

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