The Austin Business Journal reported yesterday that, “Austin and San Antonio will be the first two U.S. cities to recover from the recession, according to a new national forecast from IHS Global Insight.” (More: http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2009/09/14/daily18.html?ed=2009-09-15&ana=e_du_pub)
I constantly monitor and measure market activity in the Austin area, and home price trends over the past 4 1/2 years shows that we gave up a little ground last winter, but have generally remained strong:
Of course, volume has been down, but the relationship of supply and demand have continued to push prices upward on average. That last point is important, because averages, by definition, hide extremes. We always have neighborhoods and market segments in high demand, and others where homes languish on the market for months unless they are heavily discounted.
In a still-competitive market like ours, proper preparation of homes for listing and sale is extremely important. As I have been telling my clients all year, “the good ones” don’t last long. Even as we move into a traditionally slower fall and winter season, I expect market activity to continue.
An obvious wild card is, what happens when the first-time homebuyer tax credit ends on November 30? Those buyers have represented a huge portion of my business this spring and summer, but I still see move-up clients who believe their time has come.
Most have spent too long watching for a “market bottom,” which I believe happened in Austin in January-February 2009. Austin’s expected recovery from the recession means the upward price pressure will likely continue. Buyers who are still on the fence should make their moves soon.