Eleven Oaks Realty is proud to present their April 2011 Austin Real Estate Price Report measuring activity in the Austin single family home market.
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Austin Median Home Price Up 12%
The big story for this month’s numbers is the increased Median Sold Price, which saw a remarkable 12% increase from April 2010. Usually we have a gradual increase from April to July where the median home price of homes sold peaks. Then, we see a decline heading into the fall and winter months.
This year, we bypassed the gradual increase and went straight to last summer’s median home price levels. Looking at this number alone, you’d think its time for sellers to get their homes on the market. However, you’ll see in the rest of the numbers, sellers seem reluctant to sell. As we mentioned in our previous Real Estate Price Reports, this may be costing sellers money. The question is, will they realize it before its too late?
Austin Housing Inventory Continues to Decline to Historically Low Levels
Last month, the big story was the declining inventory. This month, we have more of the same. In April 2011, we saw a 4% decrease in months supply of inventory from April 2010 numbers to 3.8 months. April 2011 numbers mark the lowest inventory we’ve seen in Austin in over 2 years. If sellers continue to be reluctant to list their homes and buyers ramp up during the summer peak, we would expect to see these numbers dip even more.
Number of Sold Homes in Austin Down 29%
We did not see the jump in home sales in April 2011 as we saw in April 2010, seeing instead a 29% decrease. In April 2011 we had 649 homes that sold vs 914 homes sold in April 2010. Looking at this number alone, sellers should be reluctant to sell their homes. However, when you consider the inventory lows, does this mean buyers are simply waiting for something to come on the market? We have a few buyer clients who are in the market to buy, but just haven’t found that perfect house yet. It will be interesting to see in the coming months just how many like them are out there.
18% Fewer Ratified Contracts on Austin Homes
Following the same trend, we saw an 18% decrease in the number of homes that ratified a contract (buyer and seller came to an agreement). Last April, we saw 1,190 Austin homes go under contact vs. 977 single family homes in April 2011. Being as though we’re still seeing the seasonal increase in home sales, this decrease doesn’t alarm me as much. Another great example of if you’re not looking at the entire market, you’re not getting a clear picture.
20% Fewer Austin Homes for Sale
Again, we saw a decrease in the number of homes for sale in Austin down 20% from April 2010 numbers. Last year at this time, there were 6,249 homes for sale while this year we only had 5,001 homes listed on the market. We are still seeing a seasonal increase in March and April, its just not as pronounced as last year. It seems sellers are reluctant to put their homes on the market. Whether that reluctance comes from real estate market numbers or from outside economic influences, we’ll never know. One thing is for sure is sellers are playing it close to the vest.
Number of Homes Listed for Sale Down 30%
Yet another indication this Spring’s uptick in market activity is not as active as last year’s, we saw a remarkable 30% decrease in the number of Austin homes that were newly listed for sale. In April 2010, Austin saw 2,104 homes enter the market while April 2011 only saw 1,482 homes. To put it in perspective, however, last April was the highest month we’ve had for new listings in over 2 years and by quite a bit. In April 2009, we saw 1,448 homes enter the market, which is 2% less than what we’ve seen this April.
Number of Homes Taken Off the Market Down 13%
With such huge decreases in the number of homes listed for sale we’ve seen the past few months, this 13% decrease in the number of homes taken off the market (expired) is to be expected. It seems the sellers who are trying to sell are sticking it out and continuing to keep their homes on the market.
Time to Sell Home in Austin Up 31%
In April 2010, it took, on average, 51 days to sell a home in Austin while in April 2011, its taking around 67 days. But, with the median sold price up 12%, it seems some of these sellers are holding out for higher prices. And, with the decreased inventory, buyers seem to be going along with it to some degree.
Supply and Demand Down
As we saw in last month’s report, the supply and demand are both down from last year’s numbers. We can, however, attribute some of this decrease to the high numbers we saw last April. Next month’s report will start to tell us if we have a trend or if its just a ripple from last year’s numbers.
Median for Sale Saw No Change vs Median Sold Price Up 1%
This chart compares the Median for Sale Price vs the Median Sold Price to show their relationship. In Austin, we saw a 2% increase in the median for sale price of a single family home in year over year numbers. The median sold price was up 12%, increasing $27,000 in year over year numbers..
Source: Clarus Market Metrics, ACTRIS Sold Data
Time to Buy? Sell?
As we always say, the best time to buy or sell a home is when you need to buy or sell. If you have a house to sell, selling when its a buyers market may hurt you on the selling end, but you’ll make it up on the buying end. If you’re trying to get into the market for the first time, the only way you’ll know that we’ve “hit bottom” is when its in the rear view mirror. Work with professionals who can help you analyze your financial and lifestyle to determine if now is the right time to buy or sell.
Looking strictly at the numbers, it appears the recommendation for this month is the same as last month…its time to sell. With inventory at its lowest levels we’ve seen in the last 2+ years, dipping even further from last month’s 2 year plus low, a home that’s priced right should have no problem finding a buyer. Let me again stress, IF its priced right. Even though buyers aren’t buying in the numbers they were last year, they are still buying. With fewer choices, homes that prove to be a value are selling quickly.
Questions About the Austin Real Estate Price Report?
Do you have questions about this Austin Real Estate Price Report? Call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@AustinRealEstateHomesBlog.com and we’ll help you in any way we can. If you’re looking to buy or sell Austin real estate, don’t forget to check out our Buyer and Seller Resources for more tips.