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Austin Real Estate Statistics for March

So what do all these numbers mean for the Austin real estate market. Basically as we move into summer we generally start seeing more sales, and that is what we are seeing. Considering all the issues in the national market there was some worry that the real estate market would not heat up in the summer but it looks like we are seeing more sales as the summer approaches.

The number of sales this month (1832) is up from last month (1499). It's down quite a bit (21%) from last year. Another statistic we look at is the months of inventory on the market. Basically, based on current sales, this is how long it would take to sell everything on the market assuming nothing new was added. The average months on market is 6. This month the months of inventory in the Austin real estate market was at 5.26 down from last month's number of 6.09.

Overall the market slowed down in September 2007 with all the subprime issues. The months of inventory in September went from 3.93 to 5.51. Since then the market has been moving at a slower rate. But we have not seen the market getting worse or better. Kind of like being in a car going 70 mph and we shifted gears and since then we have been going steady at 40 mph. I cannot predict the future. But from the statistics we have been seeing, it looks like this summer will be ok although not as good as last summer.

Currently we are in a buyer's market. We are seeing much better deals than we saw this time last year. I have gotten a few questions from people trying to time the market. Basically wanting to buy in the worst month. Kind of similar to buying in the lowest month in a stock market. Market timing doesn’t work as well in real estate as it does in the stock market for a few reasons. First, statistics on the market are delayed. People putting in offers today will not show up in sales statistics for at least a month (it usually takes a month from initial offer to final sale). So we won't know what the bottom month is until way after the fact. In addition, the market doesn’t seem to be getting steadily worse. Instead it seems to be moving at a slower but steady pace for several months now.

Also getting a good deal in real estate is more dependent on the property than the exact time of sale. So instead of waiting for a particular low month and jumping into a property one would have better success having a long time window and waiting for a good deal in the area they are interested in.

Moving on, let's look at the different sub-markets of the Austin real estate market.

Sub markets of Austin Real Estate Market

The East Austin real estate market ran into problems when the California investors left in September. There was a ton of inventory on the market and very few sales. While the East Austin market is improving somewhat from the last few months, overall it still is relatively weak.

The central Austin real market is doing pretty well. There were relatively few subprime mortgages in central Austin. In addition because properties in central Austin don't cashflow, California investors bought fewer property in central Austin than in other areas of Austin. Also the supply of homes in central Austin is relatively fixed.

As we have seen for several months, the central Austin market is outperforming the suburbs. I don’t expect this trend to change anytime soon. The markets in Lakeway and Lago Vista continues to be doing extremely poorly with a months of inventory just over 12.

So let's break out numbers a little more. Below is a chart showing the sales of homes in the central Austin real estate market broken out by Austin MLS areas. Here is a map showing the boundaries of the Austin MLS areas.

Austin home Stats by MLS area


So what areas jump out to me? For investment I really like area 10N. 10N has a few things going for it. First, it's in central Austin which means the supply is relatively fixed. Second, prices are down because subprime borrowers cannot currently buy homes, which hurt areas with homes priced below 150k. But overall the area is pretty central, once banks loosen standards a little, the area seems primed for appreciation. If you buy something there ,I would recommend getting a decent realtor. A lot of the homes in the area have hidden problems with foundations and underground pipelines. (I happen to know this one realtor you can contact him here he has a blog :)). But seriously if you don't use me, find someone that knows what they are talking about.


So here are some more stats I found interesting. Below is a chart showing sales broken out by price of home.

Austin Texas Real Estate by Price Range

What we notice when looking at the different home price brackets is that homes priced below 150k are selling at a much slower rate than last year. In addition homes over 400k are selling less frequently than less year. So what is going on? Because banks are not giving loans to subprime borrowers (bad credit scores) homes priced below 150k are having a difficult time selling. Homes priced between 150k and 400k are doing okay. Homes priced over 400k are selling slowly because rates on jumbo loans have gone up. This is just my opinion but I think increasing rates on jumbo loans was a way for banks to quickly exit markets like California that are doing poorly.


If you want to look at statistics for the last few year they are located here Austin real estate market statistics. Also if you want to search what is currently on the market we have a search for Austin homes. As always, if you have any questions about a particular house or the market in general, or if you are looking for a home feel free to contact us

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Comments

This is interesting -- as always. You put a ton of work into this, and it shows. But at the same time you make all this info really easy to digest for those of us who don't know much as much about real estate.

Yay! I live in 10N :-) It has seemed to me as well that it is just a matter of time before people start heading down here. It has some great pockets of neighborhoods and its a breeze to get downtown.

Great job on gathering the data. I do appreciate you taking the time to do it. You are now my stats source when I get busy and cannot do it my self.

Very interesting! Thank you very much for all of you analysis. I have read your blog for the past year.

I have been curious about the condo market downtown. I have no clue how they are doing... All I see are new buildings ever day and more old apartment units being converted into condos.