The big news coming from the New York Times on January 18, 2018 is Amazon named the 20 finalists in the fierce contest for its second headquarters. Frankly I was surprised at our city making the cut. Why? Downtown Austin is ranked #3 on the list for the most expensive cities to live and our transit system leaves something to be desired! Many of our city council members are still resistant to growth. These are not desirable attributes for large corporations looking to open mega headquarters.
Don’t get me wrong I love Austin and enjoy the quality of life, however, I’m being realistic. Whether we like it or not others love our hill country landscape, warm weather (except for this January), standard of living and are moving here for jobs, jobs, jobs! Sticking our heads in the sand is not going to make this mass influx of new residents go away!
Mark Sprague, a favorite economist of mine, spoke to our Coldwell Banker NW office in his annual assessment of where Austin is headed and what is on the horizon for 2018. I value his opinions as he tends to be conservative in nature and doesn’t give a pie in the sky forecast. Thank you Jen Clarke with Independence Title for setting up this very informative forecast on Austin.
Mark was right 2017 was a good year!
This is his summary on Austin real estate for 2018:
- Home values will continue to improve, just not as aggressively.
- Commercial will continue to be challenged to keep up with demand, but more cautious on rent values
- 2017 inventories climbed to a 5+ month inventory, but have moved closer to a 2.5 month supply (seller’s market). Caution, certain price points and neighborhoods will be challenged with buyer’s market due to values.
- Regional psychology remains positive but cautious in 2018.
- Home sales will be a tad slower in 2018 than 2017, due to increase in values. Inventories below $500,000 will remain tight.
- Due to one of longest expansive price growth in Austin has some people concerned
- Local growth/development issues, becomes more pressing, causing larger cost impacts and escalating values across the board.
2013 was the year that Austin felt and saw the recovery. It stumbled locally at the end of 2016. The 2017/2018 regional psychology remains positive but in a cautious mode. Mark feels the Austin economy continues in a watchful expansion mode.
I agree with his philosophy “There is not a better time to buy!”
Yes, buyers should have bought several years ago but the chances of seeing those rates or values, is slim!
Time will tell if a host of fresh inventory hits the market and if buyers continue to find homes to their liking in the Austin real estate market.
Although conditions favor sellers (2.5+ months of available inventory), homeowners must ensure their house is ready for visits, updated as needed, and priced according to the current market conditions.
Whether you are thinking of buying, selling or just curious about our current market, let’s discuss what is important to you. I can be reached at 512-346-1799.
Remember …..Hiring the RIGHT Austin Realtor® is critical to your home buying and selling success!