Austin Real Estate Market Closes the Year with a Bang

January 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

 

Austin real estate market finishes 2012 with a bang

Austin real estate market finishes 2012 with a bang

The Austin real estate market continued to break records as 2012 came to a close. In December, Austin had the lowest number of homes for sale in over 10 years. There were 5760 single family homes for sale in November. That number dropped to 5057 homes for sale in December. Low inventory fuels increased demand and home prices start to rise as more buyers scramble to purchase the smaller number of listings. The median home price was 12% higher in December 2012 than it was in December 2011.

Last month, it was not uncommon for sellers to get multiple offers from buyers hoping to “win” the negotiation. And, buyers frequently lost out on the first home of their choice if they didn’t act quickly or make an aggressive offer.  All of this activity generated the highest number of pending sales in the last seven years with days on market at a similar low.  Demand was particularly strong in 78704, 78717, 78727, 78731 and 78739. These 5 zip codes had less than 1.5 months of inventory. (Austin Real Estate Market Report, January 2013)

This is not normal real estate activity for the last quarter of the year, usually one of the most challenging for sellers because there are generally fewer buyers in the marketplace. Typically, the last quarter is reserved for those who really have to sell and those who really have to buy.

A strong influx of people into our city has put pressure on both the rental and the sales market. Rental occupancy is at 98% driving rents to some all time highs and would-be tenants into the housing market. Historically low interest rates are also continuing to make buying a house in some cases more affordable than renting. Take a look at our mortgage chart. These rates are being held down artificially until the national economy strengthens—another call to action for buyers and sellers who know these rates won’t last forever.

Job growth is also strong in the Central Texas area with forecasts for steady increases in the population. 2012 was a record year for job announcements according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce and reported in the Austin Business Journal. The list of companies, 29 strong, that will bring jobs to Austin in 2013 will continue to fuel the housing market. Angelo Angelou, economist, said recently that he expects Austin to add 28,800 jobs in 2013 and 30,100 jobs in 2014.  Many of these are jobs with salaries in excess of $100,000.

Watch our monthly real estate market report to track the trends by area and zip code and contact us for more specific data for your neighborhood and a marketing consultation and evaluation of your home.

Find additional information and to search for any home in the Austin area visit our website at www.WestAustin.com

Posted by Laura Duggan, Broker/Owner, West Austin Properties, Austin, Texas, 512-345-1252, laura@westaustin.com

About Laura

Laura is a third generation native of Austin who grew up in Tarry Town in Central Austin. She is the owner and broker of West Austin Properties and has been selling real estate in the Austin area since 1979. Laura is married to the love of her life, Brad, and they have two grown daughters. Together, they love to explore all of the fun spots Austin has to offer.