Earlier today I posted an article that discussed the difference between Austin’s experience with the recession over the past few years, and the experiences of the hardest hit cities and states (Good info about the Austin housing market). Earlier this week I discussed my Austin Market Dashboard and noted that through July 2012 our area has had 14 consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth, and that prices had continued to trend upward through this challenging period.
This week Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index reported that their 20-city Price Index showed the first year-over-year increase since the summer of 2010. Now, one month does not make a trend, but this is great news — not only for the residents and homeowners in those cities that saw deep declines in their home values, but for everything that lasting improvements would mean there and in the U.S. economy at large.
Again, Austin’s experience has been very different: average sale prices were up from year-earlier levels in 17 months of the last 25 months, and 19 months showed annual increases in median prices:
As the American-Statesman article said, Austin’s historical price appreciation rate has been relatively modest, and that helped us to weather the housing downturn. Over the past couple of years aggregate price appreciation has been faster than the long-term trend, but the other factors that kept us from the tremendous boom-and-bust cycle seen elsewhere are still in place here. Austin has grown in spite of problems elsewhere, but that will not continue indefinitely. The U.S., Texas, and Austin need the entire housing sector to regain its footing. Let’s hope that June 2012 is the beginning of a new period of healthy growth.