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Austin Real Estate Sales for October 2009

The sales statistics are out for October for the Austin real estate market. The residential market had an extremely strong month while the commercial and empty lot market continued to perform poorly.

There were 1823 single family sales in October; this is 38% higher than what we saw this time last year. It’s also higher than what we saw last month (1733). It’s extremely rare to see an increase in sales as the market moves into winter. Another way to look at it is that October 2008 was slower than February, March, April, May, June, July, August and September. This October had more sales than every month in 2009 except just June and July.

Yr Month Sales % 1 Yr Change % 2 Yr Change Average Price % Price Change Median Price % Price Change Active Listings % Change Pending Sales Sold to List Price Months of Inventory
07 Jan 1,475 $241,169 $175,000 7,060 2,186 96.9% 4.786
07 Feb 1,723 $233,936 $176,000 7,334 2,499 97.0% 4.256
07 Mar 2,315 $245,391 $177,000 7,776 2,934 97.0% 3.358
07 Apr 2,295 $249,912 $185,000 8,354 3,016 97.6% 3.64
07 May 2,698 $250,156 $184,050 8,821 3,125 97.8% 3.269
07 Jun 2,772 $259,310 $191,800 9,159 2,789 97.7% 3.304
07 Jul 2,621 $257,386 $189,900 9,451 2,573 97.2% 3.605
07 Aug 2,497 $259,686 $191,250 9,819 2,196 97.1% 3.932
07 Sep 1,816 $252,844 $182,500 9,979 1,695 96.2% 5.495
07 Oct 1,770 $242,399 $180,000 9,431 1,953 96.4% 5.328
07 Nov 1,648 $248,768 $185,000 8,069 1,278 95.9% 4.896
07 Dec 1,638 $251,123 $190,000 8,522 1,006 96.0% 5.202
08 Jan 1,312 -0.11 $245,305 0.02 $187,000 0.07 8,727 0.24 1,935 95.4% 6.651
08 Feb 1,547 -0.1 $233,945 0 $180,090 0.02 9,127 0.24 1,803 96.1% 5.899
08 Mar 1,829 -0.21 $239,777 -0.02 $188,000 0.06 9,638 0.24 2,063 95.9% 5.269
08 Apr 1,944 -0.15 $240,592 -0.04 $186,950 0.01 10,034 0.2 2,109 96.5% 5.161
08 May 2,108 -0.22 $261,580 0.05 $195,000 0.06 10,577 0.2 2,146 96.9% 5.017
08 Jun 2,222 -0.2 $259,114 0 $199,940 0.04 10,886 0.19 1,996 96.4% 4.899
08 Jul 2,068 -0.21 $256,526 0 $195,000 0.03 10,913 0.15 2,032 96.7% 5.277
08 Aug 1,994 -0.2 $256,345 -0.01 $196,740 0.03 10,348 0.05 1,792 96.2% 5.189
08 Sep 1,673 -0.08 $241,881 -0.04 $182,000 0 10,217 0.02 1,520 96.2% 6.106
08 Oct 1,322 -0.25 $243,364 0 $192,460 0.07 9,944 0.05 1,234 95.4% 7.521
08 Nov 997 -0.4 $234,444 -0.06 $182,000 -0.02 9,243 0.15 1,147 94.9% 9.27
08 Dec 1,305 -0.2 $247,025 -0.02 $182,500 -0.04 8,520 0 1,114 94.2% 6.528
09 Jan 840 -0.36 -0.43 $231,006 -0.06 $176,750 -0.05 8,738 0 1,327 94.3% 10.402
09 Feb 1,108 -0.28 -0.36 $241,372 0.03 $189,950 0.05 9,373 0.03 1,406 94.7% 8.459
09 Mar 1,406 -0.23 -0.39 $230,608 -0.04 $180,000 -0.04 9,704 0.01 1,846 95.1% 6.901
09 Apr 1,579 -0.19 -0.31 $232,420 -0.03 $189,900 0.02 9,889 -0.01 1,919 95.6% 6.262
09 May 1,692 -0.2 -0.37 $252,425 -0.03 $193,000 -0.01 9,939 -0.06 2,132 95.7% 5.874
09 Jun 2,092 -0.06 -0.25 $250,921 -0.03 $199,250 0 10,107 -0.07 2,084 95.9% 4.831
09 Jul 2,053 -0.01 -0.22 $244,978 -0.05 $192,590 -0.01 9,988 -0.08 1,996 96.3% 4.865
09 Aug 1,765 -0.11 -0.29 $243,047 -0.05 $189,000 -0.04 9,555 -0.08 1,980 96.2% 5.413
09 Sep 1,733 0.04 -0.05 $240,780 0 $185,000 0.02 9,148 -0.1 1,886 95.6% 5.278
09 Oct 1,823 0.38 0.03 $238,604 -0.02 $182,000 -0.05 8,947 -0.1 1,811 95.8% 4.907
Yr Month Sales % 1 Yr Change % 2 Yr Change Average Price % Price Change Median Price % Price Change Active Listings % Change Pending Sales Sold to List Price Months of Inventory

Ok, so October had a high number of sales. Why? There are a number of factors. Although unemployment is still high their is an emerging feeling that the economy is recovering (the stock market is up 57% since March). We are also experiencing historically low mortgage rates. But the most important factor is probably the 8k and 6.5 home buying tax credit. Additionally, before the tax credit was extended there was a rush of buyers looking to buy before the tax credit expired.

Without the tax credit I would expect stronger sales than what we have been seeing over the last year but we would certainly not be seeing a 38% from this time last year.

Beyond sales the number of listings is down 10% from a year ago. This is roughly in line with what we have been seeing. The average price is down 2% and the median price is down 5%. In contrast for the last few months we have seen prices flat or higher than what we saw at the same time last year. So it seems weird that as the market moved faster, prices went down. If we look into the numbers a little more we see that the average size house that sold in October 2008 was 2713 and in October 2009 it was 2669. And for October 2008 and October 2009 the price per square feet was 114 square foot. So it looks like instead of prices going down compared to last year instead smaller houses are selling. This might be due to the fact that an 8k tax credit is more motivating for people looking at a smaller less expensive houses than people looking at large more expensive houses.

Although we saw more sales in the lower end of the market its also interesting that the upper end of the market finally started moving again. The market for homes over 1 million has been dead. Before October there were only 136 sales in 2009. October saw the highest number of 1 million+ home sales all year with 30.

Moving beyond the single family Austin real estate market lets look at some other market segments

The condo market is also up compared to last year. In fact there were 39% more condo sales than this time last year. Does this mean the Austin condo market is doing better than the single family market? Not really. The condo market was just much worse last year. Below are the sales and inventory numbers for both markets.

Sales Inventory Months of Inventory on Market
1823 8947 4.91
170 1353 7.96

So if we stopped putting in new listings it would take 7.96 months to sell off all the condos on the market and it would only take 4.91 months to sell off all the single family homes on the market. So while the condo market is not doing as well as the single family market its still doing much much better than this time last year.

The Austin commercial market is still anemic. Sales are down 25% compared to this time last year and 50% compared to 2 years ago. So why is the Austin commercial suffering while residential and condos markets are thriving? First the tax credit which is helping the residential market is not a factor for the commercial market. Second the commercial market has some serious long term problems which boil down to the fact that lenders are looking for any way to exit the commercial market because they are expecting a meltdown. It’s expected to be worse than the residential problems although it probably won't receive as much press as the residential market problems did because it affects less people.

The multifamily market had the same number of sales as last year at 36 it is down 54% from two years ago when it had 78 sales. This is better than the last two months when we saw one year declines of 38 and 32 percent. What’s been interesting with multifamily properties is that although sales are flat are down so is inventory. One would have expected that after the low number of sales the last 2 months inventory would have built up. Instead inventory is down 6 percent compared to last year. So although properties are not selling we are not seeing a lot of owners put their properties on the market.

The Lot market is down 30% compared to last year. Lots right now are like the hot potatoes in that game hot potato. Basically no one wants vacant lots. It’s going to take a little while for builders to clear out inventory and start building again, and in the meantime no one is buying lots. So the market for vacant lots is pretty much dead.

For the different areas of Austin here are sales based on the different mls areas of Austin.

As always if you have any questions about the market in general or a property in particular, feel free to contact us. If you want to search for properties on market, here is our Austin home search.

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