Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Homes are selling in Northwest Austin.

Working with buyers and sellers in the area helps to give me first hand knowledge of what is going on. Some areas just do not have enough inventory for the demand of buyers. In the past few weeks I have worked with buyers that have missed out on a deal because of multiple offers, seen homes that are overpriced go "under contract" and negotiated contracts for multiple listings that I have. The newspaper paints a picture of a horrible housing market but anyone who is looking at the statistics and reality of what is going on in Northwest Austin would have to disagree. How do I know it is not just me and my experiences that make me think this? I look at the data from the MLS. Crazy, I know, but I like to make educated decisions and use resources that are available to me (and other Realtor's). As an example, I will be discussing what is going on in what is defined by the Austin Board of Realtors as Area NW.

Map of Area NW

In this article we will look at:

  1. What homes are available in Northwest Austin?
  2. How many homes are under contract?
  3. What homes have been selling in NW?
  4. Is this a buyers market or a sellers market?

What homes are available in Northwest Austin?

To start looking at this area, we first need to understand what homes are actually available to purchase in the area. For more about the types of homes in the area, read: What you get for the money or Hunters Chase and Milwood Homes. The table below shows a breakdown of price ranges of available homes. **These figures are all based on statistics of Single Family Houses and does not include condos or town homes.

As we can see in the chart, the majority of homes fall into the $150,000-$400,000 range. This does not tell us much information except what is currently available. These could be motivated OR unmotivated sellers, under priced OR overpriced homes. Currently, there are a total of 183 homes on the market. Next we need to look at what homes are under contract otherwise known as "pending" or "pending- taking backups".

How many homes are under contract?

There are currently 84 homes "under contract" in the area. That means that a deal is put together between the seller and a buyer and will most likely close in the next 30-45 days. This is an important factor to consider because this is what is happening in the area RIGHT NOW! By the time a sale goes through the information is at least 30 days old. 50% of the homes under contract are in the $150,000-$250,000 range. Now we need to look at what has SOLD in the past 6 months.

What homes have been selling in NW Austin?

By looking at what has SOLD in the last six months we can see what rate homes have been selling in the past. Out of 210 homes that have sold in the last 6 months (an average of 35 homes per month) over 50% are in the $150,000-$250,000 range.

Is NW Austin a buyers market? OR Is Northwest Austin a Sellers Market?
If you read the newspaper or watch TV, you are probably rolling your eyes at the screen and saying, "buyers market, duh!!" but how do we know?? More on that in a minute. First of all, a buyers market is when there is more than six months supply of homes within an area. A sellers market is when there is less than six months of inventory to sell to the demand of buyers. To calculate the # of months of supply, divide the # of homes available by the # of homes pending. This means that overall, Northwest Austin has just over two months of supply. That means that NORTHWEST AUSTIN IS A....... (drum roll please!)


Lets look at price ranges to see if that rings true throughout.

$149,999 and less-3 active/9 pending=0.3 months=sellers market

$150,000-$199,999-36 active/24 pending=1.5 months=sellers market

$200,000-$249,999-36 active/18 pending= 2 months= sellers market

$250,000-$299,999-25 active/15 pending=1.5 months=sellers market

$300,000-$349,999-28 active/6 pending=~4.5 months=sellers market

$350,000-$399,999-21 active/6 pending=3.5 months=sellers market

$400,000-$449,999-12 active/5 pending=~2.5 months=sellers market

$450,000 and over-23 active/1 pending=23 months= buyers market!

This means that in all price ranges except 450k and above we are looking at a pretty significant sellers market. If you are looking at purchasing a home above $450k contact me today because there are some great deals!

Comparing these figures to the sold figures for the last 6 months also lets us know that there has been quite a bit of activity in the last 30 days. For example in the $200,000-$249,999 range 32 homes sold in the past six month (about 5-6 homes per month) BUT 18 homes are currently under contract that is 3X's the volume of activity.

Still wondering if now is a good time to sell? Contact me today for a FREE consultation about how you can sell your home for more $ today!

If you are looking at buying a home in the area make sure you are working with a professional so you can still get a great deal on the perfect home.

Posted by Brian W Martin REALTOR for The Pinnacle Group of Keller Williams specializing in Assisting Buyers and Sellers look at the facts about home sales in Northwest Austin, TX

Data taken from the Multiple Listings Service of Austin Board of Realtors. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NORTHWEST AUSTIN HOMES: How does hail effect the purchase or sale of your Northwest Austin Home?

NORTHWEST AUSTIN HOMES: How does hail effect the purchase or sale of your Northwest Austin Home?
On March 25th, there was a thunderstorm which included some of the biggest hail seen in Northwest Austin in about 10 years according to some residents. Hail the size of golf balls or in some areas, baseballs rained down on homes and cars throughout the NW Austin area as well as parts of Cedar Park and Round Rock. The storm left debris all over roadways and sidewalks. The area that was hit hardest was Jollyville. Some people don't even know where Jollyville is but it includes the areas of Hunters Chase, Milwood, and Anderson Mill. Many homes were damaged by the hail. Some had severe hail damage to their roof and windows. Many cars were damaged to the point of the car being "totaled". I was fortunate enough to be driving west on 620 toward the storm and pulled under one of the metal roofs at Sonic just in time. How does this hail effect a home that is currently under contract or those that are thinking of buying or selling? If you have a home with previous hail damage, what can you do? Let me tell you.
Those that had a home under contract when the hail storm hit are covered in their Texas Association of Realtors 1-4 Family Residential Contract-Resale (TAR 1601).
In paragraph 14 it basically says that if any part of the property is damaged or destroyed by fire or other casualty between the effective date of the contract (when all parties agree and sign) and the closing of the property, the seller, at the sellers expense needs to restore the property to its previous condition as soon as reasonably possible. So, if a house is under contract and a big hail storm comes through the area, it is the sellers responsibility to repair it to the condition it was in when the parties agreed to the terms of the contract. If the seller fails to make the repairs, the buyer has a few choices of what they want to do.
  • A. The buyer can terminate the contract and the earnest money will be refunded to them.
  • B. The buyer can grant the seller an extension of the time of performance and closing.
  • C. The buyer can accept the property damaged and receive all insurance proceeds AND receive a credit from the seller at closing in the amount of their deductible.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the future as well. I have had a case where I was working with a buyer to purchase their home in Southwest Austin and in the inspection, there was noted roof damage that was done possibly from a hail storm a few months before. The seller contacted their insurance company, had the roof inspected and agreed to replace the roof. In this case both parties paid one half of the deductible but, one half of a deductible for a brand new roof is a great deal! Buyers beware!!! If you are looking at homes in any of these areas , I hope you are working with a professional that has already told you about this unusual circumstance. Practically any home you buy in that area should have a new roof or at least a thorough inspection to prove there is no damage.
Sellers beware!!! Don't go spending those insurance checks on big screen T.V.'s or a BMW at a "hail sale" because buyers will have the roof inspected and if they are working with someone that is knowledgeable, they will expect the roof at this point more than ever to be in tip-top shape.
***If you have found this information useful and are thinking of buying or selling your home, contact me today so I can help you to save money by making smart decisions.

Posted by Brian W Martin REALTOR for The Pinnacle Group of Keller Williams specializing in educating buyers and sellers to make smart decisions about their homes in Northwest Austin, TX