I have written frequently over the past year about the underlying strength of the Central Texas real estate market, and I have discussed Austin’s relative economic strength with all of my clients for most of the past two years. Not only have we suffered less than many other areas in the mortgage mess and the resulting market downturn, but we entered a recovery phase earlier than most and we continue to add jobs, slowly but surely.
Today, I added an article at www.AustinMarketInfo.com from The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce that provides some specific comparisons. Here are some high points:
- Through October 2009, year-to-date home sales (units) is down 5.7% from the same time in 2008, but in each of the past three months, that year to year sales gap has narrowed.
- The comparison to “pre-recession” activity will surprise many: YTD sales in 2009 are UP 38% compared to 2007!
- We still have a healthly six-month inventory of homes on the market. (I have commented a number of times, however, about how “spotty” the overall market can be — fast-moving sellers’ markets in some neighborhoods, and badly overstocked neighborhoods elsewhere.)
- Our area’s median home price is down 0.9% versus last year — compared to a decline of 12.8% nationally.
- Over the past five years, the Austin area has been among the best-performing metros in the country in terms of home values:
There is every reason to be bullish about the future of Central Texas real estate as we enter a new market growth phase. With this market perspective, historically low mortgage interest rates, and tax incentives for first-time homebuyers and current homeowners, the coming months are an excellent time to make your move!