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Austin Real Estate Statistics and Summary 2007 in Review

published on January 2, 2008

What is all the fuss? Austin real estate was still strong in 2007. 
 
While the number of homes sales was down 12% in 2007 compared to 2006 in Austin Texas, homes sold for an average of $14 per square foot more in 2007 than in 2006. Using the average home sales price times the number of homes sold in 2006 and 2007, the net result was a total of $4,057,530,000 in home sales revenue in 2006 compared to $3,910,654,000 in 2007, which is only a 3.6% overall decrease in sales revenue in 2007. So yes, the market has softened compared to 2006, but it isn’t nearly as bad as the headlines may make it seem. Furthermore, homes are still selling strong with 13,162 homes sold in 2007 at a 9% average increase in value from the previous year.
 
There is no question that Austin is full of savvy individuals who like a good deal. When the headlines indicate a downturn in the real estate market, these people tend to take notice and some begin to monitor the market. Many would-be homebuyers begin to observe the sales trends to determine whether it is worth waiting a while to purchase a home in order to get a better deal down the road. As a result, the decrease in the number of homes sold is exacerbated, which can be a dangerous downward trend. The good news is that the fundamentals of job growth and unemployment in Austin are strong. Austin continues to be a desirable place to live, which helps to offset the skeptics and holdouts.
 
Barring unforeseen circumstances such as another major terrorist attack, Austin real estate should remain strong throughout 2008. Although I believe that there should continue to be sporadic price reductions by a small percentage of homeowners who need to sell fast, the good deals will be random and possibly difficult to find. With that said the ability to get a good overall value for your home purchase should increase slightly due to the continued national market weakness and associated skeptics at home in Austin. Home builders are looking to move inventory and are doing so at a slightly reduced profit, but still at a profit none-the-less. Resellers will tend to price their homes more competitively in order to compete with the builders and to increase their overall chances to sell within a reasonable amount of time, or they will keep their homes off the market. But I wouldn’t bet on major price reductions.
 
Statistics: While existing home sales are down 20% nationwide through November according to the National Association of Realtors, Austin home sales were down only 12% in 2007 as compared to 2006 according to the Austin Board of Realtors. With a 2007 workforce totaling 829,700, Austin’s (Austin and Round Rock) unemployment rate actually decreased slightly from 3.6% in 2006 to 3.5% in 2007 (29,800 unemployed in November 2007) according to the Texas Workforce Commission. This is compared to the nations increase in unemployment from 4.3% in November 2006 to 4.5% in November 2007. The total workforce in Austin, Texas increased by 6,900 people from 845,000 in November 2006 to 851,900 in November 2007. 
 
Austin homes sold during 2007:  There were 13,162 Austin homes sold in 2007. The average sale price for homes in Austin was $150 per square foot ($297,117) and the average Austin home had 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and 1,975 square feet and spent 47 days on the market before selling.
 
Austin homes sold during 2006: In 2006 there were 15,027 Austin homes sold. The average sale price for homes in Austin was $136 per square foot ($270,016) and the average Austin home had 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and 1,948 square feet and spent 49 days on the market before selling.

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