average price: Contrasting market values -- details matter - 06/16/11 02:34 AM
One of the ongoing services I offer my clients is assistance every year with market information needed to protest proposed new tax values.  This year there have been some very obvious protests, and some new appraisals that were reasonably in tune with actual market value.  One, however, provided a great example of how widely values can vary within a single market area.
The request for help came from a client who owns an unimproved 1.8 acre lot in the hill country around Lake Travis, northwest of Austin.  Here's a very brief summary of how that market analysis worked out:
First, for a … (2 comments)

average price: Keep your eye on the target ... those sellers will come around - 06/04/11 01:08 PM
In a couple of recent posts I discussed the market environment in various price ranges around the Austin/Central Texas area, and pointed out that some market segments here are clearly moving well regardless of the "typical" price range in the area, while others are moving VERY slowly.  (See Austin sales performance by price range, 05/07/11 and Austin/Central Texas market performance -- what's selling?, 05/10/11.)  There is no direct correlation across the area between "market velocity" and price range.

The second of those posts included a table that showed the "Austin West-Westlake" region with the largest gap between the average list … (0 comments)

average price: Austin Market Dashboard through April - 05/27/11 03:51 PM
Final data for April has been in for a few days so it is time for an update.  First, here is a snapshot of the Austin Metro residential market as of May 27, 2011:

The important point here is the market absorption rate:  With sales of 1,682 properties in the past thirty days, today's listing inventory represents about 5.5 months' supply -- healthy conditions, with demand slightly outpacing supply, but not significantly favoring either buyers or sellers.  As I have pointed out previously, conditions vary widely from market segment to market segment, but this overall average is useful.

average price: Austin and Case-Shiller - moving the same direction? - 03/29/11 10:56 AM
Yet another update of S&P's Case-Shiller Home Price Index provided news going into the Spring/Summer selling season that will be discouraging to homeowners who want or need to sell soon, and good news for prospective home buyers: Home prices falling in most major US cities
The report notes that the 20-City Composite Index for January 2011 declined 3.1% compared to January 2010, following six consecutive monthly declines. The bright spot among the cities used in the index was Washington, DC, enjoying 3.6% growth in home values for the year.

Austin, too, has felt this trend. Despite ups and downs over … (0 comments)

average price: Austin Real Estate Market Dashboard - 03/23/11 12:19 PM
My Market Dashboard is a compilation of many key measures of market health that I began studying a few years ago and have found valuable in explaining circumstances in the Austin-area real estate market compared to news we have all seen and heard about the "national" market.  Real estate is inherently a hyperlocal business, and even the area-wide metrics in this dashboard obscure significant differences between individual neighborhoods and property market segments.  Discussions of nationwide market activity, while necessary and informative as far as they go, can create serious misconceptions about conditions in specific local markets.  A recent blog post helps … (0 comments)

average price: What can you get for your money? Set realistic expectations - 02/01/11 02:50 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)

average price: Austin and Case-Shiller - a quick contrast - 01/26/11 03:23 AM
I'll have more to say over the next couple of days about the latest report on the S&P Case-Shiller Index, but I just want to offer a quick note this morning. First, this article appeared in the Austin American-Statesman this morning: U.S. home prices 'bouncing around' bottom, Case-Shiller economist says
The article notes that only one city in Texas -- Dallas -- is among the twenty used in the index, and that they saw a year-to-year decline in home prices in December 2010. Most of the other indexed cities suffered tremendous declines in prices over the past couple of years, so … (0 comments)

average price: Austin/Central Texas YTD -- not so bad - 12/05/10 07:13 AM
Real estate market activity remains volatile and unpredictable, nationally and in Austin.  Over the past week I have commented on significant month-to-month changes in average home prices (see Home prices decline, but ... and Case-Shiller caution -- national index, local business).  I have also noted that monthly unit sales have declined in recent months.  In an effort to bring these discussions together, I have assembled several charts that I hope are helpful.

First, the number of homes sold has been down  for four consecutive months from this year's May-June peak, and from year-ago levels (click image to enlarge.):

It … (0 comments)

average price: Pricing To Sell - 07/19/10 03:09 PM
Real estate professionals are accustomed to talking with prospective home sellers about the market value of their homes.  Many sellers are absolutely certain that their homes are unique, and are therefore worth more than all the "comparable" homes that have sold in their neighborhoods.  Many also believe that a real estate agent's only objective is to underprice their property for a quick sale/commission.  As a consequence, many sellers and Realtors® agree to "test the market" at a higher price than a market analysis suggests.  After all, you can always reduce the price, right?  You certainly can't increase it!  This article offers … (1 comments)

average price: Austin/Central Texas market vs. Case-Shiller index - 06/29/10 05:04 AM
Two articles added to AustinMarketInfo.com this morning discuss changes and trends in the U.S. real estate industry (Housing Market In Stumble Mode and Home Prices in U.S. Cities Up 3.8% From Year Earlier). As I frequently do, I think it is important to provide an Austin/Central Texas perspective since our local and regional market has experienced the housing downturn and recession very differently than the five states where the worst impacts have been felt. Both focus on today's report on the Standard & Poor/Case-Shiller index of home values in April 2010 showed the best year-over-year improvement in more than 3 1/2 … (0 comments)

average price: Update -- Austin market trends - 04/23/10 07:10 AM
Some of you follow this information on my website. Others may just come to know about it today. Either way, I have updated www.AustinMarketDashboard.com with final data from March 2010.  We saw a significant jump in residential sales from February to March -- 57%!  (Also up 32% compared to March 2009.)
Listing inventory also increased some, but typically for this time of year.
It's surprising that we don't see more strength in property values.  Average sale prices in March were down (1.2%) from February.  They are still up about 2% compared to March of last year, but with the exception of … (2 comments)

average price: What price range is selling in Austin? - 03/03/10 07:20 AM
What Price Ranges Are Selling?
  Markets operate in cycles, and the Austin real estate market is no different.  As I have written many times, we have avoided the most severe effects of the mortgage/housing crisis and recession over the past couple of years.   One indication of market resilience is price stability, and although we have not enjoyed signficant value appreciation, we have not suffered the loss of value that many areas have experienced.  The average sale price in December 2009 was about 4% higher than in January 2008, and the median price increased about 2% during that same two-year … (0 comments)

average price: Continuing market weakness - 03/01/10 08:12 AM
Following up on a post a couple of days ago about the coming end of homebuyer tax credits, and of the Fed's program of buying mortgage-backed securities, I took note of this article over the weekend:
Housing sales drop; GDP revised upward
Two months of consecutive decline is worrisome, and even Austin and Central Texas participated in this weakness.   As always, I track the movement of the Austin Metro real estate market on my AustinMarketDashboard, and the decline is visible there, as is the usual price weakness that accompanies weak demand.  Average home prices in Austin have now been below the … (4 comments)

average price: Austin home price spike in December! - 01/21/10 12:39 PM
An article appeared in the Austin Business Journal earlier this week indicating that Austin-area home values remained soft late last year (Austin home prices still falling).  That was true through November, but there was a significant recovery in average and median prices in December!
More details are available at www.AustinMarketDashboard.com, but explaining this almost 10% month-to-month price increase is more difficult.  A similar change has happened only once in the past twenty years, in December 2001, as the U.S. economy was recovering from the obvious market disruptions that followed the WTC attacks on 9/11.  The market was disrupted again in 2009, … (0 comments)

average price: Local Market Information - 10/19/09 05:40 AM
An agent posted a question on LinkedIn this morning about where to find information on remote market areas to help an investor-client.  Another agent responded with links to a couple of websites that report market data around the country.  I tried one that I had not encountered before, and the results were what I have learned to expect -- disappointing.  I looked up Austin, Texas on that other site, and compared their report with up-to-the-minute data from our MLS.
The online report showed the Median price of a single family home here as $331,791. The Average List Price as of today … (0 comments)

Bill Morris, ABR, CRS, CDPE, ePRO, MBA (RE/MAX Capital City)

Bill Morris


Austin, TX

More about me…

RE/MAX Capital City

Address: 13018 Research Blvd, Austin, TX, 78750

Office: (512) 785-3345

Fax: (888) 600-6939

Email Me

My Thoughts on Central Texas Real Estate



RSS 2.0 Feed for this blog