Who thought that a government shutdown would (1) lower interest rates, and (2) cause the Austin housing market to rev back up? Well, it did. As a result, 2019 is off to a better start than I initially predicted. 

Even with a strong start, I still think the Austin real estate market is experiencing a gentle cool down over the long term. Price growth won't be what it has been between 2012 and 2018, but we are still growing. Also, the market is responding very well to rates bring around 4.5%. All that to say it looks like the first half of the year will be solid. 

While we expect the market to continue to heat up, I wanted to share some real-time and real-world data about home sales within the Central Austin loop. For these purposes, I think of Central Austin as everything inside the loop bordered by I-35, Ben White, Loop 360, and Highway 183. 

CENTRAL AUSTIN SALES OVERALL

Property characteristics. If we look back at the last three months, the average sold home inside the Central Austin loop was a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom around 2160 square feet. Most of these homes took 54 days to sell (aka days on the market) and sold for around $364.90 per square foot. The average home sold was comparable to this listing in the Rosedale neighborhood (78756): 

4108 Burnet Rd, Austin, Tx 78756

Stellar location in sought after Rosedale, seconds from parks and fine dining.  Historic h...

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(NOTE: Real estate is always in flux. If this link no longer works, it means the home went pending or is no longer on the market now. If you want a fresh example, just let me know.) 

Pricing. On average, sellers asked for $804K and got $778K, or about 96% of what they were originally asking. Only 83 out of 376 homes (22%) got what they were asking for or more. This tells us that pricing is key, and sellers need to be realistic about what they can get for their home in today's market. 

The one that sold the most beyond its list price was a home in Westlake. The sellers asked $832, and the seller got...$1,401,000. That's a whopping 1.6 sales price to original list price ratio! This home was able to garner so much more than list price, but was an outlier, for sure. 

A CLOSER ANALYSIS OF 2 BEDROOM HOMES

Property characteristics. During the last three months, two bedroom homes inside the CentralAustin loop sold from anywhere between $300K to $1.3M. On average these were 2 bedroom, 1 bath properties with approximately 1,188 feet. It took around 50 days on market for these homes to sell. The average 2 bedroom home was similar to this home in the Crestview neighborhood (78757):

1311 Aggie Lane, Austin, Tx 78757

Total Remodel.  Move in ready.  This cute Bungalow in the coveted Crestview Area.  2/2 wit...

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Pricing. Sellers listed these homes for $551k on average and sold them for $528K, getting around 96% of what they were originally asking after making one price adjustment. Around 20% of the sellers (12 out of 60 homes) got what they were asking for or more.

MARKET ACTIVITY IN 3 BEDROOM HOMES

Property characteristics. Three bedroom homes inside the Central Austin loop sold for anywhere between $560K to $2.2M. On average these homes had 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and approximately 1,822 square feet of space. These homes were on the market for around 48 days. The average 3 bedroom home was comparable to this 78704 charmer in South Austin: 

505 E Annie Str, Austin, Tx 78704 

78704 Bungalow nestled on a large lot only blocks from SOCO. Single story home offers an o...

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Pricing. Sellers asked for $652K and got $636K, getting around 98% of what they were originally asking. Around 24% of sellers (47 out of 194) got what they were asking for or more.

4 BEDROOM HOME SALES

Property characteristics. Focusing inside the Central Austin loop over the last three months, the average 4 bedroom home price ranged from $329K - $5,650,000. These homes were most often four bedrooms with three and a half baths. Most of these listings has 2,946 square feet and spent 65 days on the market. A good example of this sort of home is this Northwest Hills property that will be listed soon (78731):

7109 Montana Norte, Austin, Tx 78731  

Spacious 5 bed home is nestled among a canopy of oak trees in the sought-after NW Hills ne...

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Pricing. On average sellers asked $1,089,000 for their 4 bedroom homes and got $1,053,000, around 96.7% of their list price. Around 25% of sellers (24 out of 93 homes) got what they were asking for or more.

5+ BEDROOM HOME SALES

Property characteristics. Most 5+ bedroom homes sold within the last three months these ranged from $1,328,000 to $3,250,000. On average these homes had 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and one half bath with around 2,906 square feet of space. These homes were on the market for 58 days. Here’s an example of the 5+ bedroom homes:

3900 Balcones Dr, Austin, Tx 78731

Don't miss this incredible transformation courtesy of Senter Design! Tremendous value in C...

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Pricing. In the 5+ bedroom category, sellers got around 93% of their original list price. Around 15% of sellers (4 out of 26 properties) got what they were asking for or more.

SO WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE YOU?

If you are thinking of selling: Hang on to your home if you can. If you must sell, make sure you have an expert agent (no newbies or relatatives) who understands the market and can navigate all the ups and downs. Also, make sure your home is in excellent condition. Buyers aren’t really interested in fixer uppers, but they will pay a premium for homes that are on trend. I know it can be painful to make improvements before selling, but we can help cover the upfront cost of cosmetic improvements and carry that debt until you pay it back at closing when your home sells – with no interest.

If you are buying: Remember that these stats are a three-month look back at market performance during what is typically a seasonally slower time. Expect spring numbers to be higher and competition to be a little fiercer as folks warm up thanks to lower interest rates. If want to get ahead of the market, check out the exclusive coming soon listings available on compass.com or subscribe to our weekly Buyer’s Bulletin listing open houses and off market opportunities. 

We need a favor. We have buyers that are not finding actively listed homes that work for them. If you know anyone who is thinking of selling that meets the following criteria, I would love a heads up: 

  • 4+ bedroom in the Spicewood/Balcones area up to the mid-$900s, but it must feed to Canyon Vista Middle School in Round Rock ISD 
  • 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom inside the Central Austin loop with around 3000+ sq ft up to $1.5M 
  • Small homes in Central Austin under $500K that move-in ready. 

And that’s a wrap on our February 2019 Real Estate Reflections. Please reach out if we can be of any help.