In a previous post (Austin-area Market Variability – first in a series), I discussed variations in market behavior in the Austin metropolitan area, slicing the market only by home size. In this post I will discuss the importance of “location, location, location“ as a vital factor in real estate.
Using “months of inventory” as a measure of market health, that earlier post showed a range from 4.4 months to 24.2 months. The “fastest” size ranges, and the ones with the most unit sales from March through June 2010, were below 2,500 square feet. I chose one of those for further discussion here — single family homes from 1,000 to 1,500 square feet in size:
|Quail Creek||N. Austin||59||2.6||97.44%||$96.26|
|Wells Branch||N. Austin||33||2.3||98.77%||$114.78|
|Maple Run||S. Austin||20||3.0||99.06%||$127.04|
|Cherry Creek||S. Austin||26||1.9||100.36%||$130.83|
I chose 9 subdivisions scattered around the metro area that had more sales than most neighborhoods in this size range during the March-June period. (Again, this draws on MLS data only.) Note the sale prices per square foot from $69.58 to $175.86 — a 250% range!
The first anomaly that stands out in this data is that one of the lowest priced neighborhoods (Austin’s Colony) is the worst performing market area, with 11.1 months’ inventory, and one of the highest priced areas (Cherry Creek) has the highest market velocity among all of those shown.
Interestingly, in three of these neighborhoods sale prices were above list prices — and one of those was the most over-inventoried market area (Austin’s Colony). It’s just an indication that sellers (often institutional sellers in that neighborhood) recognized the very competitive market conditions, priced aggressively, and attracted multiple offers.
Also note that there is no direct correlation between price and market velocity. Two of the three fastest-selling neighborhoods (Maple Run and Cherry Creek) were in the highest three markets in price per square foot. In addition, the highest priced market area (Allandale), while carrying very low inventory relative to demand, had the longest time on market and one of the lowest Sale Price-List Price % ratings.
It has long been said that the most important feature of real estate is its location. This data highlights the significant variations that one factor can have on the value and saleability of a particular property, even within a narrow market segment. I will explore this topic further in later posts.