Welcome to the July 2010 edition of our Austin monthly market statistics analysis for home and condo sales in Austin, TX.
July was an interesting month in the ATX - on the one had there were large gains over 2009 in terms of key pricing numbers. On the other, overall sold listings dropped sharply over July 2009. Part of the blame can certainly be placed on the fact that the economy is still struggling and unemployment remains high. The expiration of the tax credit also likely plays a part. But the important thing to remember is that prices are still rising steadily and that there's another key fact related to the volume vs listings that we'll get to in a moment.
The biggest positive changes for July were in the average list and sold prices as well as the continuation of the YTD increases in both number of sold listings and total sales volume.
The Big Picture
Let's start with the positive news for July, which per usual was quite substantial:
- The average list price in Austin increased by 18%, and the average sold price increased by over 17% over July of last year.
- While it didn't drop as substantially as it did last month (when compared to last year), there was yet another drop in the average number of days on market until sale - 3.7%. The price per square foot for properties sold also increased 5% over last July.
- The number of new listings increased a substantial 12.6% over last year, which in addition to being an impressive number on it's own is even more important when compared to the 11.3% two year change - a sign of continued and substantial growth for inventory.
Now on to the not-so-good news: the total number of sold listings for Austin from July 2009 to July 2010 dropped 31.5% - a huge number which doesn't seem to mesh with the rest of the largely positive data for this year. But an important fact to put this up against is that the drop in volume since July 2009 was only 19% despite the fact that the number of listings sold dropped more than 30%. This exemplifies the extent to which prices aren't just holding, but are rising, despite the fact that there are fewer people out there taking the plunge in the current economy.
As the chairman of the Austin Board of REALTORS pointed out this month, “To gauge trends in the real estate market, which is cyclical, we usually compare one month’s performance to the same month the prior year." But, he continues, “this year, however, we have the unique situation of the homebuyer tax credits that inspired many buyers to purchase homes sooner than usual. Thus, it’s more meaningful to evaluate our market from a year-to-date perspective, instead of month-to-month, to gain a clear picture.”
So what do the YTD figures indicate? Continued positive performance. As Horton put it, “Looking at our market year-to-date, it’s clear that the demand for homes is still strong, based both on increases in the number of homes sold and decreases in how long it takes to sell a home. We do have more active listings on the market, which means there is an ample supply of homes for prospective buyers. The stability shown in the median price of single-family homes shows Austin real estate continues to hold its value well.”
So what does this mean for you, the potential buyer or seller? It means you've go the best best of all possible worlds. As a seller, you can be confident that even though it's a more competitive marketplace than Austinites are used to, homes are still commanding substantial prices despite the economy. And as a buyer, you know that you've got some leverage and that the market, despite still being so strong, certainly won't be getting softer anytime soon. This is course will equate to equity that's at the heart of what everybody wants when they purchase a home.
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