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Home Ownership Still Makes Sense! - 02/28/11 03:21 PM
Much has changed in the housing industry over the past few years. Every day we see and hear on the web and radio and TV and newspapers what a disaster real estate ownership has been in recent times. Not to rehash what I have written many times, but the real disaster has been concentrated in just a few states. (If you're interested, see How Does Texas stack up in the Case-Shiller report? and Foreclosure Impact in Austin.) Even in those hard-hit locations, if you're still holding property that you bought before 2004 the odds are good that your value is still (0 comments)
RE/MAX Capital City Pride - 02/24/11 01:20 PM
Twice each year, Jeff Osborne, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Capital City conducts business meetings with all company agents and staff. Discussion is wide ranging and mostly forward-looking, but reporting on past performance versus our competition is always worth a couple of slides. I spend most of my blogging time on discussing market dynamics and commenting on industry-related news reports and specific local market conditions, but these competitive reports deserve some attention -- not for myself, but for Jeff and the strongly supportive and productive business environment he has built in this incredible company. At the RE/MAX Of Texas state convention last week, (0 comments)
Foreclosure Homes Account for 26 Percent of All 2010 Residential Sales, According to RealtyTrac
That year-end data also shows that foreclosures, on average, sold for 28% lower prices than non-foreclosure sales.
Keep in mind that when discussing residential foreclosures, the national average is very heavily influenced by a relative handful of states. Here are the hardest hit:
So how does Austin compare? Very favorably, actually.
In the Austin metro area, sales of foreclosed properties accounted for 13% of all residential sales (3 comments)
Case-Shiller today - and Austin - 02/22/11 02:16 PM
I have elaborated before about the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index and how representative it is (or not) of conditions in the Austin/Central Texas real estate market. (Most recent comments: Case-Shiller caution -- national index, local business, 12/03/10; Quick comparison -- Austin vs. Case-Shiller Index, 01/26/11; and Housing Bubble? Austin compared to Case-Shiller cities, 01/30/11) I will not repeat all of that discussion except to point out that the list of Case-Shiller Index cities is dominated by those that experienced the boom-and-bust of this market cycle most dramatically -- the highest highs and the steepest falls. With that as context, I offer (1 comments)
A quick comparison -- my Dashboard and new Austin Board report - 02/22/11 11:38 AM
The Austin Board Of Realtors® reported yesterday that "Sales of single-family homes in the Austin area were 14 percent higher in January 2011 than January 2010." (See Austin Business Journal article.) Since that data differs from my Austin Market Dashboard update yesterday, I just want to point out that the primary difference is between sales of Single Family Homes (ABoR) and All Residential Properties (my Dashboard). There is also some difference between MLS data from ABoR and the consolidation of data reported by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, where I get the data for my Dashboard. That said, (0 comments)
Updated Austin Market Dashboard - 02/21/11 03:12 PM
This is just a quick note that my Austin Market Dashboard has now been updated to include final data through January 2011.
The theme this month is that the Austin/Central Texas real estate market remains unpredictable -- although virtually all economic indicators and forecasts call for improvement in our local economy generally, and our real estate market specifically. We are not likely, however, to just "turn the corner" and find ourselves on a steady path to recovery. In most cases, I expect to see year-over-year trends to be visibly upward, even as month-to-month market performance remains spotty.
One chart (0 comments)
Texas cities' financial performance - 02/17/11 12:58 PM
The Greater Austin Chamber Of Commerce posted some very interesting information this week about Texas and our major metro areas, and their relative performance economically. The article points out that the Texas Index of Leading Indicators bottomed in March 2009 and has been rising since then, gaining 5% in the past twelve months and 2.8% in the last quarter. Of course, forecasting is forecasting, but optimism is so consistent among economists and Austin market watchers that this is quite believable and encouraging.
The Chamber's article also highlights a variety of views of its backward-looking Business Cycle Index. The complete article (0 comments)
More reason to buy soon! - 02/17/11 11:19 AM
A few days ago I wrote about the cost of delaying a home purchase now, when mortage interest rates are rising and home prices in Austin and Central Texas are likely to hold firm or increase slightly in 2011. (See Will higher interest rates cost you your dream home?) In other market areas where home values suffered more during the recession, prices are likely to rise faster, so the incentive to buy soon should be even greater. Soon, payments on new mortgage loans will increase for another reason -- an increase in the monthly Mortgage Insurance Premium on all FHA loans. (1 comments)
Buying a home? It could cost you to wait! - 02/13/11 07:49 PM
Mortgage interest rates have been at historically low levels for a very long time -- longer that almost anyone believed possible. (See Mortgage Interest Rates -- Historical Perspective.) Over the past several weeks, rates have been increasing, slowly but fairly steadily, pushing just above 5% last week. You have to go back to the mid-1960s to find sub-6% rates, so it's not time to panic. Nonetheless, rate increases do increase monthly payments.
Let's say you plan to purchase a home and have budgeted $1,000 per month for your mortgage payment. (To keep this discussion focused, I'm working with Principal & (1 comments)
Romance in Austin and Round Rock ... - 02/11/11 07:49 PM
Here are a couple of new "top" rankings for Austin and Central Texas -- one that is beyond doubt, and another that I'll just have to trust. There is SOOOO much to do in Austin that Vavoom.com ranks us 2nd, behind only Miami: Austin 2nd best place for dating in U.S. I've been happily married and living in Austin for a long time now, but there is never a shortage of places to go, restaurants to try, local theater, live music, travelling Broadway shows, and plenty of active outdoor things to do. The ranking also considered affordability, and it's generally true (0 comments)
Austin building permits and market outlook - 02/10/11 09:34 PM
Earlier this week I posted on AustinMarketInfo.com an article from the Greater Austin Chamber Of Commerce reporting on residential building permits in the Austin area, and nationally: Central Texas Economy in Perspective It's interesting, but what the data means is difficult to understand. The text of the Chamber's article recites highlights of the data, without much interpretation, so I decided I would take my shot at analysis. As I have pointed out previously, we are in a transitional market, and it remains as unpredictable as any we have experienced for many years. With that caveat, here are my thoughts on this (1 comments)
Austin rental market, investment properties - 02/07/11 11:26 AM
For market watchers in Austin and Central Texas this trend has been visible, but the Austin American-Statesman made it public information over the weekend: Apartment market rebound good news for landlords, but tenants face higher rents Average apartment occupancy is back to pre-recession levels in the Austin area, pushing rental prices to all-time hights, and that is adding strength to lease rates for other types of residential property as well:
AMLI Residential CEO Gregory Mutz said, "There are a number of positive forces at work — job growth, household formations, positive demographic trends, a greater propensity to rent versus buy, (0 comments)
Price it right, don't waste time and money - 02/06/11 08:57 PM
Preparation, staging, marketing, follow-up, sales, negotiation.... There are many things that an experienced real estate professional can and should do when representing a home seller. Comprehensive market analysis and pricing consultation are a vital part of those services. What a Realtor® cannot be expected to do is work miracles -- i.e., sell property for more than it's worth. Of course, any product is worth nothing more or less than what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree to, but recent market activity and the current competitive environment paint a clear picture of the relevant price range for your house.
Got a low-ball offer? Don't get mad! - 02/04/11 10:26 AM
Interesting post on TexasRealEstate.com: Sellers: Would you respond to an insult? When I represent sellers, I provide in-depth market analysis and pricing consultation -- before accepting the listing, with regular updates while the home is on the market, and again to help with consideration of purchase offers. When I represent buyers, I provide in-depth consultation on property value before writing purchase offers. In both cases, most clients appreciate the work and knowledgeable advice. Some acknowledge the advice and choose to ignore it. Just as some sellers insist on overpricing their homes, some buyers insist on "going low," at least as a starting (4 comments)
Important advice -- don't accidentally hurt your credit score - 02/03/11 08:22 PM
Here is a short but important article from RISMedia today: 3 Common Misconceptions That Needlessly Lower Credit Scores Mortgage professionals counsel their clients about many pros and cons of managing credit from preapproval to closing, and most provide good advice to prospective borrowers whose FICO scores are too low to qualify for a loan. Commonly, "don't open new credit lines" features prominently on everybody's lists, and more than once I have told my clients -- not facetiously -- that I do not want a call from them a week before closing inviting me to come see their new car. ARRRGGGHHH! The (3 comments)
Rental properties in Austin -- where to invest? - 02/03/11 08:14 PM
There are many ways to evaluate income-producing properties -- cash flow, cash-on-cash return, equity rate of return, net present value analysis or internal rate of return, and others. They all have their place in investment analysis and comparison, and investors usually have at least one favorite that they require.
One of the simplest measures that I find useful as a blunt instrument for property comparison is the Gross Rent Multiplier -- simply the purchase price of a property divided by annualized gross rental income. It can be refined somewhat with assumptions about expected vacancies, but for a "30,000-foot view" (0 comments)
A few Austin employment success stories - 02/02/11 09:37 PM
It's one thing to cite statistics about the strength of Texas and the Austin economy and job growth as I have frequently, including this post last week: Growth and employment in Austin. It's another thing to discuss specific examples. This week has provided several: "Spiceworks Inc., a fast-growing company that sells network management software ... has leased 29,000 square feet at the project at RM 2222 and Jester Boulevard, as it prepares to expand its Austin work force from 80 employees to 115 by the end of the year, said CEO Scott Abel." -- Spiceworks doubling office space as it adds (1 comments)
What can you get for your money? Set realistic expectations - 02/01/11 10:50 AM
Much of the news about the housing sector of the United States economy discusses inventory and sales activity in the "national market." However, real estate is inherently a local business. Most people understand, without explanation, that comparing sales and sales prices in San Francisco to those in Kansas City or Dallas or Miami may be interesting. But it doesn't really tell you anything useful about the health of any of those market areas.
The fact is that real estate is actually "hyperlocal," with sales and property values varying widely from one neighborhood to another within the same city, and from (1 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.