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Updated Austin Market Dashboard

Future market activity remains somewhat unpredictable, and much depends on the direction of the general economy and the nationwide real estate market. There is clear strength in the Austin/Central Texas market, though. Continue reading

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Signs of Austin-area market progress

Closed sales were down from May 2010 to May 2011, but the most immediate measure of market demand clearly shows improvement. Anecdotally, my business and that of most real estate professionals that I talk to indicate that the pace of market activity is up, and there is plenty of support in local economic reports to expect that we really are on the way to more consistent growth. Continue reading

Austin-area home sales in May 2011

The year-to-date sales trend this year is encouraging, even if volume is below 2010. In addition, average and median sale prices continue to ease upward. These are NOT the market conditions we read about in the national press. Continue reading

Avoiding recovery?

Americans who would love to get back into the real estate market are being told almost daily that “it’s the worst market in 80 years,” or “you’ll probably lose the money you put into a house.” The folks propagating that viewpoint are actually creating the reality. It’s time to move on. Continue reading

A study in market values

One of the ongoing services I offer my clients is assistance every year with market information needed to protest proposed new tax values. This year one provided a great example of how widely values can vary within a single market area.

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Is Housing Important, or not?

What’s going on with rules affecting mortgage lending is horribly misguided …. “AARRGGGHHHHHH!”
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Austin and Washington — similar strengths!

Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. have a lot in common. Apparently, that includes strength in home values. Continue reading

“Shop high” usually doesn’t pay off

A recent post understandably prompted a reader to ask whether they should shop for homes well above the price range in which they hope to buy. I replied to that question directly, but the issue of “shopping high” comes up frequently (almost as often as sellers want to “start high” on list price), so I’ll discuss it again here. Continue reading

Price It Right to Make More

Homes that are priced right on day one sell faster and for higher prices than those that “start high.” There are bound to be exceptions, but I haven’t found one yet. Continue reading

Housing Affordability – Austin Comparison

I’ll have more to say later about home values around the country, but many folks in Austin and elsewhere have the impression that Austin is a relatively expensive place to live. At least as far as housing is concerned, the data discussed here places Austin very well, especially among large metropolitan areas. Continue reading