Austin Real Estate Market Trends

Located in central Texas, the city of Austin is the capital of the Lone Star State. By the standards of any other state, Austin would likely be the state's largest city; however, as the saying goes "everything is bigger in Texas". Austin, therefore, with a population of over 800,000 residents, is only the fourth largest city in the state of Texas. Home to a diverse mix of people, Austin promotes itself as the "live music capital of the world". While no two people seem to describe Austin the same way, the general consensus is that Austin is a little slice of heaven in the middle of the old Southwest. People who choose to call Austin home tend to be fiercely protective of their city and its eccentricities. In a state where bigger is generally thought to be better, residents of Austin tend to support small local businesses and work hard to preserve a sense of community. If you plan to purchase a home in Austin in the near future it will help to know where Austin home prices are at currently, and where the Austin real estate market is headed.

As you likely already know, real estate markets across the United States crashed in recent years as a result of the national financial crisis. Home values in many markets plummeted to all-time lows while foreclosure rates skyrocketed. Experts tell us that we hit rock bottom and most markets are now climbing back out of the hole. The Austin real estate market appears to be claiming out of that hole much faster than other markets.

As of the beginning of September 2013 Austin home values have increased 8 percent from the same month last year with a median price of $ 212,000 according to the ZipRealty's Housing Trends Report. While the increase in Austin home values is certainly an important indicator of economic recovery, it is important to look at other factors as well when determining the overall health of the Austin real estate market. At the height of the recession the median number of days the homes across the country were staying on the market was hovering around 30. Currently, “median days on the market” in Austin is 17 with the median purchase price to list price at 99 percent, meaning that homes are selling faster and buyers are paying close to list price. Finally, another figure used to determine the overall health of the real estate market, as well as whether the market is in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, is the available inventory. Compared to this time last year, the total number of housing inventory is far smaller. The total number of homes on the market went from 7,521 listings in August 2013 to 6,082 listings on the market in August 2013, which is a YoY decrease of 19%. This means that there has been a smaller supply of homes on the market this fall (compared to last year).

When a real estate market is experiencing rapidly changing conditions it becomes even more important to work with an experienced real estate agent to determine what the fair market value of a home is. In a seller’s market, homes move on and off the market rapidly, making it a challenge to find “comparables” that can be used to determine a fair market value for a potential purchase. An experienced real estate agent, however, has access to the information needed to ensure that you do not overpay for your dream home.

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