Austin Unemployment and Austin Real Estate Market Update December 2008
published on January 24, 2009
Austin unemployment continued to increase in December 2008 to 5.2% from the 2008 low of 3.3%. Austin sold prices year-to-date (January 1-23) have decreased slightly by 2.4% compared to the same time period during 2008 and the number of homes sold has decreased by almost half (48%). During the first 23 days of January 2009 there were 178 single-family homes sold within the Austin city limits with a median price of $112.08 per square foot ($221,250) and with an average of 71 days on the market. This is opposed to the same period of time during 2008 when there were 341 homes sold within the Austin city limits with a median price of $114.89 per square foot ($220,000) and with an average of 68 days on the market. With continued low sales volume and increased unemployment in Austin, there should continue to be increasing opportunities for buyers in Austin. My recommendation is for sellers to price their homes competitively and for buyers to look aggressively for good opportunities.
The Austin-Round Rock unemployment rate reached 5.2% in December, a rate that was last beat in July 2004. This is the 8th consecutive month of slight increases in the Austin unemployment rate from 3.3% in April 2008 to 5.2% in December 2008, which represents a 37% increase or an increase of 16,600 unemployed. The unemployment rate increased from 5% to 5.2% between November and December of 2008, representing an increase of 1,200 unemployed in Austin-Round Rock. A year ago in December of 2007 the unemployment rate was 3.6%, which is 32% lower than what it is today. While unemployment has been on the rise, the labor force has continued to grow by adding 7,145 people between April 2008 and December 2008; however there was a slight decrease in the size of the labor force with an decrease of 5,800 people between November and December of 2008. The December 2008 Austin unemployment rate of 5.2% is still well below the State of Texas unemployment rate of 5.7% and the U.S. unemployment rate of 7.1%. The Austin unemployment rate increased 25% from January to December of 2008 compared to the State of Texas increase of 25% and the U.S. increase of 27%. As you can see, Austin’s unemployment inreases are mirroring the rest of the state and country although our overall rate is lower. It is important to note that Austin’s unemployment rate is still lower than the years following the technology bust when the unemployment rate stayed at around 6% between January 2002 and December 2003. The unemployment rate actually reached its height of 6.7% in June of 2003 before a consistent and steady decline over the following year.
Source: Unemployment data provided by the Texas Workforce Commission and raw real estate data provided by the Austin Board of REALTORS® and interpreted by Austin REALTOR® Brian Talley of Regent Property Group. Although the above information is deemed reliable, it is not guaranteed to be reliable or accurate. The information contained herein is subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice.
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