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Hot or Not - Market Update March 2019

Austin Market

South Austin continues to outpace the city on average for activity and pricing. It's a great place to own a home and more and more buyers are coming to learn that.

Austin active listings are down year over year by 11.1%, whereas South Austin actives are up 24%.

Austin solds are down year over year by 9.5%, whereas South Austin (South of 71, west of 35) sales are up by 2.1% year over year, this time much more than Austin itself. We still seeing three fourths of all active homes in South Austin sell in a month, so inventory is even tighter than last month. The median days on market at the time of this writing was just 8 days. That means most well priced homes are going under contract the weekend they go on the market.

Inventory to buy in Austin is going back down compared to last year, South Austin inventory is outpacing the city by a huge margin but that doesn't help you when houses are sold in a week. The inventory of active listings is still increasing. This shows that homes are appreciating in South Austin and people are selling to cash out their equity. And people are still buying more than three out of four homes that are being listed!!

Median Sales Price is about the same at up 0.1% year over year in Austin ($388,500), and the South Austin median sales price is up 4.0% ($352,000) which is $14,000 more than last month! Still I like a low single digit appreciation year over year. That shows a sustainable increase that is great for home owners without creating too frothy of a market.

National Market

As you may have seen from the video, we are still appreciating at a good clip, but not like we were during the boom and bust of 2008. This is the national appreciation rates month over month from Case Shiller. You can see that we are coming in for a soft landing.

You might be thinking ok, that's great but that also looks like we might start depreciating if that trend keeps going. That is always a possibility, but there is usually a curve. I can't say for sure where that will start to turn up, but most of the big real estate think tanks are estimating that we will still be seeing appreciation into 2022.

Despite Gary V, and claims that home ownership is not as important to people now, the data shows something interesting. You could say that it true right now compared to times past. However we are also seeing a turn around in home ownership. We have mostly recovered from the housing bubble and are starting to see our first increase in home ownership nationally since 2015 and that trend is continuing.

Just be mindful of how the Austin market compares to the national. National trends do carry some weight, but real estate is always local. Conditions in Austin are expansive. New businesses are moving here. Millennials want to live here and raise families here. The city is expanding and adding new commercial space both downtown and in the Domain. Big tech employers are also moving more campuses here. That can only mean more population growth and a challenge for development to keep up.

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