In all of Austin there are just 1,481 active listings, and in south Austin (south of Ben White, west of I-35) there are only 208 active listings. For a city of almost 1 Million residents, that is unusually low. One might expect December to be slow but Alyse and I are still seeing multiple offers with many of our clients and simply not enough homes to choose from. Even though it is the winter, it's a great time to sell because no one else is and there are plenty of buyers for the supply that is available.
Active listings in Austin are down year over year by almost 35%, whereas in south Austin the number of active listings are down by about 37% year over year. Month over month the number of active listings in Austin are down by about 21%, and in south Austin the number of active listings month over month are down by almost 30% Inventory in Austin continues to shrink, and not just seasonally.
There are 744 sold listings in Austin, and 175 sold listings in south Austin. The number of sold listings year over year in Austin are down by 8%, and in south Austin are down by about 6%. Month over month the number of sold listings in Austin are down by about 27% and in south Austin the number of sold listings month over month are down by 19%. Almost all of the active listings in south Austin sold in just 1 month. Even though there is a shortage of inventory in Austin and south Austin, it continues to be bought up faster than new homes are coming on the market.
The median price of homes in Austin is now $418,750 and in south Austin the median price is $360,000. The median price in Austin year over year is up by 10%, and in south Austin year over year the median price is up by about 3%. Month over month the median price is down by less than 1% and in south Austin the median price month over month remained unchanged from the previous month.
Recession still remains a topic of interest going into the new year. Many people are concerned that a potential recession would mirror the housing crisis in 2008. Economists are pushing back the recession timetable. In the latest report from the Wall Street Journal Survey of Economists, the number of economists that predicted a recession in 2020 dropped from almost 50% down to 34%.
The percentage of income that is necessary to afford a median priced home is continuing to decrease. The historic norm for the percentage of income to afford a median priced home is 21%, while currently it is 15%. Buying power is increasing due to mortgage rates dropping, and wages increasing.
Since inventory is continuing to shrink nationwide, it is crucial for anyone considering selling their home to work with a real estate agent. The amount of homes that are on the market for sale by owner has increased by 1 point in the last year. Only 11% of owners who attempted to sell their home without an agent succeeded. The main motivation for people selling without an agent is to save money and time. In many cases homes for sale by the owner tend to sell for less. The most recent data suggests the average price of homes sold by the owner was about 6% less than similar properties. Agents are skilled in negotiation and have tools the average person does not to properly market a property to maximize potential buyers.