Whenever new statistics about the Austin housing market come out, I like to dig deep into them, and find out what is really going on.
You see, this last summer, a lot of agents have told me that it feels slower than usual for them. Others have had a great summer. I can understand both of the situations. When you look carefully at the numbers, it is really very clear.
Here in Austin, there are really 3 different real estate markets:
- The bottom of the market
- The mid range
- The luxury homes
Let’s start by talking about the bottom of the market. These are average priced homes that cost $300,ooo or less. This is a HOT market. Homes are frequently on the market for just days (sometimes only hours), and get multiple offers. Frequently they are bought for all cash with a fast close and no inspection, buy flippers or corporate investors. This is the majoirty of the first time homebuyer market, and it is very competitive. Things move fast, and you can’t be picky.
The middle of the market are homes from $3000,000 – $750,000 or so. Move up homes. People who are buying their 2nd or even 3rd property (after selling their first). This part of the market also sees a lot of people moving to Austin from other parts of the country. After analyzing the numbers, this is almost a balanced market. Houses tend to stay for sale longer, there are more places to choose from, and there is more negotiating on price. It’s what you would expect to see in an average area where buyers have more homes to choose from, but can’t really dilly-dally because they will sell fast, just not overnight.
Finally we have the top end, the luxury homes. Here in Austin, that’s defined as houses costing 3/4 of a Million dollars or more. This encompasses a lot of the downtown condo market, as well as many homes in Westlake, Hill Country, and even parts of central Austin. In this section of the market, there are more homes than buyers, and people are a lot more picky. I’d be picky too if I was spending that much on a house. These homes take much longer to sell, and buyers have a much larger selection to choose from.
So, while the numbers put out by the board show a slowing in some cases, it is easy to see why, when you look at market data segmented by price.