The overall Austin market:
- - Compared to last December, the number of single-family homes sold in the Austin area is 6% less. The average sales price for single family homes is down 2% to $242,690. The median price, however, is at $188,480 which is 1% less when compared to this time last year.
- - The total number of single-family listings in the Austin MLS is 5% less than this time last year at 9335 units. Still, prices are being pushed down - which is a positive for buyers.
- - If you average the number of sales for the last 12 months and divide that figure into the number of current active listings, the result is the number of Months of Inventory (MOI). In a balanced market, the MOI is between 3.5 and 4.5 months. Currently, the MOI in the Austin market has remained steady at 6 months which favors buyers. The average days on the market for single-family homes to sell has continued unchanged at 79 days.
The Austin area's population increased by 44,000 people last year, and Austin finished the year with less than ½ of 1% negative economic growth. This led all 20 major metro areas in the U.S., which is a reflection of Austin's overall strength. Most forecasts look for the Austin area to bounce back during 2010 and 2011, returning to positive job growth during March of 2010. The combination of a talented workforce, strong business climate and high quality of life will continue to serve the Austin area well into the future.
The recently extended tax credits for homebuyers will increase our market activity into the Spring, and current activity bears this out. This is indeed a special time; with prices still suppressed, a good selection of homes and interest rates hovering near record lows at 5%, this market is a wonderful opportunity for buyers and move-up sellers alike.
Mary Battaglia CRS, GRI Austin, Texas
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