A study in contrasts …. First there was this article a few days ago announcing good news for Central Texas:
Report says recession ended in August for Austin (http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2009/10/12/daily31.html)
This morning I logged in and was greeted by this on my home screen:
Homes: About to get much cheaper (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Homes-About-to-get-much-cnnm-699910894.html?x=0)
Then I turned to the local newspaper and found this on the front page:
Area home sales jump, fueled by tax credit (http://www.statesman.com/business/content/business/stories/realestate/2009/10/21//1021homesales.html)
As I have commented frequently over the past couple of years, Austin and Central Texas have been largely insulated from the upheaval that has been so heavily reported nationally. In part, that is because we paid significantly when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000-2001, but that was certainly true in other places, like Silicon Valley. The more important difference is that since that downturn we have enjoyed generally reasonable and sustainable market appreciation in the 5%-6% range – not the “gold rush” mania that caused California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida to suffer so badly in 2008 and 2009.
Certainly, the Austin economy is not robust at this point, and job creation has slowed, almost stopped in some months. Nonetheless, there is reason for optimism here. With renewed economic growth and job creation, which is expected by many local analysts, 2010 should be a good year.
That said, even the Central Texas real estate market is extremely “spotty” this year, with fast-moving neighborhoods right around the corner from communities where values have fallen and sales are slow. More than any time over the past several years, now is when the detailed market knowledge of a real estate professional — me or someone else you know and trust — is very important.