Are you an Austin Buyer or a Contestant?

Frustrated Austin Home Buyer

If you’ve tried to buy a house in Austin lately, in an area of high demand and low inventory, such as Southwest Austin, you may have run into some competition. In fact, you most likely have. As of this writing, there are 43 Active listings and 84 Pending listings in SW Austin. I won’t go into a breakdown of what that means statistically, but let’s just call it a Mega-Seller’s-Market and leave it at that.

Other buyers want the same house you want, often the first day it hits the market. A new listing in South Austin 78745 that I showed a buyer a few days ago had a parade of buyers waiting in line when I got there, and more when we left. An offer I wrote today for a SW Austin home that came on the market 3 days ago has multiple offers and we’ll see how ours did tonight or tomorrow. It’s really, really crazy out there.

This type of market changes the way you have to approach your home buying effort in Austin. You are no longer “shopping” for a home, you are competing for a home. You are not a home buyer, you are a contestant. You are not trying to negotiate an acceptable offer with a seller, you are trying to beat your opponent(s), the other buyers, by making a better offer. Suit up, game on. And you’re not able to know what it will take to make your offer “better”, you can mostly only guess, then decide how high you want to jump.

This is¬†disconcerting and frustrating for those¬†unaccustomed to the stress. It can tie you in knots emotionally. It’s too much for some buyers, and they simply bow out of multiple offer situations, not wanting to compete at all. Others get it right away, put on a game face, and bring their A Game to the first offer, crushing the competition and “winning” a home on the first try. Still others, go through several failed offer attempts before they can muster up the fortitude and grit to throw down a wining offer. If you’re one who keeps losing, read How to Win Multiple Offers in Austin for some tips that will help you and your agent increase your chances of coming out on top.

Are we in a Bubble?
I’m not ready to call this a “bubble”, but this marks about 12 months now of very strong demand and shrinking inventory in many areas of Austin.

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Southwest Austin Future Looks Solid

This article about real estate in Southwest Austin was emailed to me today. It supports what we’ve been telling investors and buyers for almost three years now – South and Southwest Austin are the places to buy real estate in Austin.

Nicely written, the article is from the online “Community Impact Newspaper“.

Here you go:

Lots of people want to move to Southwest Austin and that is a good thing for the local housing market, according to Ryan Robinson, the demographer for the City of Austin.

In 2004, he completed his last major forecast that predicted some of the city’s greatest numbers would move to Southwest Austin by 2010. From 2000-2010, he estimated the most people, 10,254 new residents, would come to the 78748 Zip code, near IH 35 and Slaughter Lane, alone. With only two years left until those estimates expire, he thinks the projections are on target, and as a result, homes will continue to sell, despite the national trend.

“Austin is today one of the healthiest housing markets in the country,” he said. “We’ve always been the envy of many other cities, but we find ourselves in a really good position right now.”

That is true, he added, especially for Oak Hill and the Circle C area.

“Oak Hill, I would say, as a sub-region is healthier than Austin and if Austin can maintain its relative economic health over the rest of the country then I don’t see anything that tells me that Oak Hill is not going to maintain its position as being one of Austin’s better, stronger neighborhoods,” he said.

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