Thursday, August 21, 2008

NORTHWEST AUSTIN HOMES: Make sure you understand what you are reading about Austin Real Estate

"Central Texas home sales declined for the 13th consecutive month in July, and a record 10,913 homes were on the market. The picture could worsen for the next 18 months before a turnaround comes, a veteran mortgage broker predicts.
Austin-area real estate agents sold 2,071 homes, down nearly 21 percent from a year ago, according to the Austin Board of Realtors. From January through July, 12,971 homes were sold, an 18 percent drop compared with the same period last year.
The year-to-date declines were evident in all price ranges, with the steepest drops at the high and low ends of the spectrum.
Sales were down 30.6 percent for homes priced between $100,000 and $129,999, and down 33 percent for homes costing $1 million or more.
The drops were lowest for mid-price homes, with a 5 percent decline in sales between $200,000 and $249,999.
Rising foreclosures are adding to the housing troubles. In Travis County, foreclosure postings for the September auction are up 45 percent from last year. They're up 34 percent in Williamson County, according to Foreclosure Listing Service Inc. in Addison.
Still, experts continue to say that Austin's market is the envy of many other cities. The median price continues to rise, up 3 percent last month to $195,000."

Click here for complete story
This is an article from the Austin American Statesman yesterday. The article is using information to highlight a downturn in the Austin Housing Market. I will never understand what the media has to gain by making the housing market seem worse than it really is. People see headlines that say home sales down 20% from last year and they think,"Oh, that means a $200,000 valued home in 2007 is now worth $160,000 because that is 20% less". The 20% thata the stats are based on is 20% less volume not sales price. The problem is that is not spelled out in the article they just say 20%......20% of WHAT?

There are plenty of reasons why there is less activity this year than prior years. There are less lenders, more strict qualifying for home buyers, the disappearance of no down and some low down loan programs and a weakening economy. Also, the article focuses on differences in properties in extremely high or extremely low price ranges. In the $200,000 to $250,000 price range which is the average Austin area home, has seen a difference in volume of 5%. The extremly low priced houses are not moving as much because "no-down" programs have gone away for buyers and investors alike. Higher priced homes are effected by the strict standards for jumbo loans and premium rates for higher loans.

In a lot of areas in Northwest Austin for example, homes are taking a little longer to sell but the home prices are continuing to rise. The homeowners that are losing money on their homes right now are the people that need to sell now for relocation or financial reasons. In this market, it is essential to plan ahead, price the home competitively, and make sure the home appeals to a large group of buyers by taking personal effects out of the home and changing personal paint or decorations so prospective buyers are not distracted from the home. The homeowners that make the neccisary changes are selling their homes and moving on. If you would like my help in getting yourr home ready for the market, contact me.

1 comment:

  1. It's good to see some real analysis on the Austin market. As you say, it's all price range and area specific.

    It's a pity that the headlines can form such fundamentally inaccurate opinions.