Tag Archives: Austin Texas

Austin-area home sales, prices hit monthly records in February 2015

Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) released real estate statistics for February 2015 – The following is the ABoR Press Released Report/ Statement: 

AUSTIN, Texas – March 20, 2015 – Austin-area single-family home sales and home prices hit an all-time high for the month of February according to the February 2015 Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

Barb Cooper, 2015 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, explained, “The first two months of 2015 have broken monthly records for single-family home sales, yet nearly half of the homes sold in the Austin area in February 2015 were purchased outside of Austin’s city limits. This growing urban sprawl has put a strain on our region’s infrastructure. Long-term and sustainable solutions for statewide transportation funding in addition to policies that allow more affordable housing options inside Austin’s city limits will be critical to making Austin an affordable place to live for all residents.”

According to the report, 1,775 single-family homes were sold in the Austin area in February 2015, a year-over-year increase of five percent and the highest number of homes sold for the month of February. In February 2015, 69 percent of single-family homes sold in the Austin area were priced $200,000 or higher, outside of an affordable price range for many Austin homebuyers.

Home prices also set new records for the month of February. The median price for Austin-area homes in February increased eight percent year-over-year to $248,640 and the average price rose five percent to $307,928 during the same time period. While less than the double-digit price increases seen in previous months, the pace of home price appreciation in February 2015 remains higher than the historical norm of around four-and-a-half percent.

Austin-area monthly housing inventory ended February 2015 at 2.2 months, an increase of 0.2 months from the same time period last year but still only one-third of the 6.5 months inventory level the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University says equals a balanced housing market. Homes spent more time on the market in February 2015, increasing three days year-over-year to an average of 58 days.

Active listings in February 2015 rose nine percent year-over-year to 5,142 listings, while new listings increased three percent to 2,619 listings from the same time frame last year. Pending sales in the Austin area increased eight percent to 2,278 sales.

Cooper concluded, “The Austin area continues to see more homes on the market, rising housing inventory and homes spending more time on the market. While these trends would typically create more favorable market conditions for buyers, most all of the available housing stock within Austin proper continues to be unaffordable for the typical homebuyer. The Austin Board of REALTORS® urges statewide and city leaders to enact solutions now that will ensure the long-term sustainability of our region’s housing market and economy.”

February 2015 Statistics

  • 1,775 – Single-family homes sold, five percent more than February 2014.
  • $248,640 – Median price for single-family homes, eight percent more than February 2014.
  • $307,928 – Average price for single-family homes, five percent more than February 2014.
  • 58 – Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, three days more than February 2014.
  • 2,619 – New single-family home listings on the market, three percent more than February 2014.
  • 5,142 – Active single-family home listings on the market, nine percent more than February 2014.
  • 2,278 – Pending sales for single-family homes, eight percent more than February 2014.
  • 2.2 – Months of inventory* of single-family homes, 0.2 months more than February 2014.
  • $546,572,200 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 10 percent more than February 2014.

The following sections describe trends in other sectors of the Austin real estate market.

Townhouses & Condominiums

The volume of townhouses and condominiums (condos) purchased in the Austin area in February 2015 was 201, a four percent decrease from February 2014. The median price for condos was $196,580, which is five percent less than the same month of the prior year. When compared to February 2014, these properties spent the same amount of time on the market, or an average of 50 days.

Leasing

In February 2015, a total of 1,265 properties were leased in Austin, which is 10 percent more than February 2014. The median price for Austin-area home leases was $1,450, which is four percent more than the same month of the prior year.

The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) builds connections through the use of technology, education and advocacy to strengthen the careers of its 11,000 members and improve the lives of Central Texas families. We empower Austin REALTORS® to connect their clients to the region’s most complete, accurate and up-to-date listings data. For more, contact the ABoR Marketing Department at marketing@abor.com or 512-454-7636. For the latest local housing market listings, visit AustinHomeSearch.com.

* The inventory of homes for a market can be measured in months, which is defined as the number of active listings divided by the average sales per month of the prior 12 months. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.

My Top Ten Reasons To Live or Invest in Austin Texas

  1. The Weather.

I love the climate. Austin has a humid subtropical climate, and I like the humidity. Austin is sunny when it is not raining, and I do love a good rain storm down here. But, I really love the sunshine. The Weather Channel documents that Austin reports nearly 2650 hours, or 60.3% of the possible total, of bright sunshine per year. Summer dewpoint averages at around 68°F. That’s my kind of town. We still have some seasons, but mostly, they are sunny and beautiful. I don’t mind the heat either, but it is hot down here in the Summer for sure. The same report cites that Austin documents highs that reach 90° F on 116 days per year, and 100° F on 18. So, if you can’t take the heat, you might want to get out of Austin in the Summer. But, it only freezes on average 18 days a year. I like that statistic.

  1. It’s Affordable.

Texas consistently ranks as one of the nation’s most favorable business climates based on its low tax burden and competitive regulatory environment. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites Texas as one of the most affordable housing markets in the country. Stable home prices and historically low mortgage rates make Central Texas homes very affordable relative to household income. The Cost of Living Index is considerably lower in Austin than most other comparable areas, and remember, we have the weather and other cool things along with relative affordability. It is also a great place to invest. Metrostudy, a housing information and consulting firm, reported recently that their quarterly survey of the Austin market revealed a 17% increase in new home starts compared to Q1-3, 2013. The following chart is a copy and paste from the Austin Chamber of Commerce web site.

chart-cost-living

3. It’s Innovative

Ranked as the second-most innovative city in May 2010 by Forbes magazine, Austin is one of the top cities in the country for entrepreneurs. Perhaps that’s why leading companies such as Dell, Samsung, Facebook, Google and National Instruments and me all have key offices here.

4. It’s fun down here.

There’s something for everyone in Austin. Austin boasts major music festivals; a world-class nightlife; more than 30 museums; and is the host city for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix through 2021. There is always something going on! And just wear your shorts. I like the glitz and glamour sometimes, but once I got all settled in, I am like the casual atmosphere. Austin City Limits festival is awesome. South By South West is amazingly fun, even if you don’t have no stinking wrist bands. I have enjoyed SXSW for many years. Maybe this year I will get a wrist band and really go all in since I live right here.

Reason #4 also has some real estate tie into it. These big festivals bring in big money for those who rent their place out for the weekend. Go look on Air BnB and see what condos down here are going for during any of those venues.

5. The Lakes are very much alive.

Austin is a lake community.  The drought and over-irrigation of Lake Travis put it in a state of change. Some establishments went out of business because the lake line moved about 150 feet in some instances. What was once lakefront is now a distant lake view. However, that did not stop the boating community in Austin. I highly recommend Devil’s Cove if you have not been there. It is a whole lot of fun and that party has not changed much over the years.

I like helping my Dallas and outside folks find lake properties. It is a great time of the year to invest in that second home. There are some great deals to be had, and the drought is over. The lake is back up, not where it was, and it never will be again, but it is still Lake Travis. There are some really cool homes that are below tax records and a few REO’s out there to be had. There is also a lot of new development going on in Bee Caves, Lakeway, Steiner Ranch areas. If you have not driven out there lately, it is a whole new place blowing up out there. I like that area a lot.

6. It’s fit and healthy

  •  Austin is named one of America’s Best Bike Cities by Bicycling Magazine (September 2014) 
  • Austin is named one of the Top 10 Fittest Cities in America by Sharecare (January 2014) 
  • The American College of Sport Medicine ranks Austin the 11th Fittest City in America and number 1 fittest city in Texas in their latest American Fitness Index  (May 2013)
  • Women’s Health magazine ranks Austin the 4th healthiest city for women. (January 2012)
  • BBC.com Travel names Austin as one of the healthiest cities in America (may 2012)
  1. The downtown vibe is super cool.

It’s safe. It’s chic. It’s hip. It’s fun. It’s a beer town. It’s pet friendly. It’s gay friendly. It’s race friendly. It’s all that! It’s the heart of Austin Texas.

  • Forbes ranks Austin among America’s Coolest Cities to Live (July 2012)
  • Forbes names East Austin #7 of America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods (September 2012)
  • Matador Network names Austin #2 best beer town in America (May 2013)
  • CQ Press names Austin’s crime rate as the fourth lowest in the nation among cities with more than 500,000 people (February 2013)
  • Austin is named the #20 top meeting destination in the United States by the Professional Convention Management Association (August 2013) 
  • Austin is ranked the No. 4 safest city in the United States with a population over 500,000 by the FBI (2013) 
  • Priceline.com ranks Austin #7 on its list of America’s Most Pet-Friendly Cities for Travelers (April 2013)
  • Austin is one of the friendliest cities in America for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, according to personal finance website NerdWallet (May 2014) 
  • Moneyunder30.com ranks Austin the #1 City in America to Be Young, Broke & Single (June 2013)

8. Live Music

Austin is known as “the live music capital of the world.” According to Austin Relocation Guide report in 2013, the slogan became official in 1991, after it was discovered that Austin had more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the nation. It has been registered and trademarked. There are reportedly more than 1,900 bands and performing artists living in and around our city. From Austin Blues to Emo, Austin’s nearly 200 live music venues mean you can catch a show any day, at almost any time. Austin is also home to some of the largest music events and festivals in the world, including South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL), The Urban Music Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest, the Pachange Festival and more. I love love love the music in this town. It’s just everwhere and it’s a vibe down here that is unique and only paralleled in places like Memphis and Nashville.

9. Growing Economy

According to Monster.com report on job growth, Austin holds great employment potential for residents. Its unemployment rate is consistently lower than the national average and the average wage is growing faster than anywhere in Texas. In fact, Austin’s favorable business climate and considerable growth in clean energy and technology led.

  • Forbes names Austin America’s fastest growing city (January 2013)
  • Forbes names Austin America’s #1 Fastest-Growing City for the fourth year in a row (February 2014) 
  • Nerdwallet.com ranks Austin 3rd Best City to Start a Business (April 2013)
  • Bloomberg News ranks Austin #1 on its list of Top 12 American Boomtowns (April 2013)
  • Forbes names Austin #1 City for Future Job Growth (August 2013) 
  • InvestmentNews ranks Austin, Texas No. 1 best city to open your small business (September 2013) 
  • Austin’s economy ranked No. 1 in the country by The Business Journals’ On Numbers (October 2013) 
  1. It’s Educated
    Home to the University of Texas, 7 other public and private universities, 29 public school districts, 17 charter schools and 69 private schools, Austin is an educated city. Among Austin residents age 25 and older, 40% hold bachelors degrees or more.

Mortgage Interest Rates Are Below 4%

Mortgage interest rates are below 4%. Texas sits at 3.86% today, which is up a bit from the previous week. Still, it is a good time to consider buying! This is a great time to make that move you have been considering, whether it is to a new area, or a smaller or larger home you have wanted.  September was a record month  for real estate sales in Austin making now a great time to make that move. Things are dynamic in this market and move fast, so you could easily be enjoying the holidays in your new home.

It can be very tricky to sell and buy at the same time, and not to mention stressful. Let me sweat the details and relieve some of that stress and make this move exciting and fun! Call me! The timing is right!