Austin Housing Market Update Seeing Green

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Calendar April 6, 2014

Austin Real Estate Keeps Improving

Austin Home Sales Way Up While Prices In February Reach Record High.

Austin Home Sales and the Real Estate Market in general have swum out to sea long enough looking for that elusive break heading back they can start riding to the more stable shores we’ve come to long for. ABOR has just released the latest Multiple Listing Service report and according to the Austin Board of Realtors®, just under 1800 single-family homes were sold in February throughout the Austin area. That’s a 9% increase over the prior year during the same time. The Median price for one of our amazing Austin area homes was just over $230,000, also a big jump over same time last year to the tune of an 11% increase. Not such a weird place now, huh?

Says Bill Evens, ABOR President for 2014, ““The Austin-area housing market continues to be strong and home buyers remain aggressive. Sales are increasing year-over-year and rising home starts have begun to offset Austin’s shrinking housing inventory. These factors taken together make it look like we will have a great real estate year in 2014.”

It was but a year or two ago that I remember posting nothing but dire warnings (and justifiably ) regarding the slowdown (more like screaming halt) of new home (single family as well as multi-unit) construction. This, as we warned, created quite a pinch on the supply of existing new family homes, multi-unit projects, condos, etc. And things weren’t going to get better for a while until construction (and more importantly the funding for new construction) actually started to ramp up again. All true, it all happened and we all felt it. Well….times have CHANGED! No longer can you rent the idle contruction cranes downtown just to fling your mother-in-law as far across town as possible. It was deemed unsafe for passing birds and, more importantly those cranes are back in business doing what they do best; Adding much needed housing and business space to our beautiful city and therefore our continued economic growth.

Here are some numbers to wobble the realty-minded out there. Home starts in the Austin area hit a six-year high in 2013 and should surpass that in 2014 barring anything totally tragic and unforseen, like a new Madonna movie. This means that our depleted housing stock should be doing what our lakes just can’t seem to…make a full recovery to much more normal levels. And the construction is really gearing up folks.

Homes in Austin are also continuing to sell at a much accelerated rate. In 2013 homes spent an average of 71 days on the market, nearly enough time to forget where you like and more than enough time to stop caring. Good news is that so far in 2013, homes are only on the market an average of 16 days fewer.

But as this ramp-up of building is getting fully rolling, Austin home inventories have until recently remained unchanged and home prices continued to rise, and the average price for February jumped to $290,000 and change, up 12 percent over period last year.

According to Evens, “Austin needs to be aggressive in the promotion of housing development policies that contribute to a consistent, healthy increase of housing stock for all members of our community. Home starts are strong and the outlook for Austin-area home sales continues to be positive, and we need to provide safe, affordable housing options quickly in order to keep up with Austin’s continuing demand.”

For More Info  & Detailed Breakdown of Numbers: