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Market News and Trends, The Business of Real Estate

What do you get for the “median price”?

The median price in the Austin metropolitan area is slightly above $200,000.  That number is of some use in comparing Austin home values to other metropolitan areas, and for comparing Austin from one year to the next.  It does not communicate much useful information for buyers and sellers focusing on specific homes or neighborhoods, however.

I am often asked, “What’s the average price per square foot in Austin?”  My answer is never a number.  It is an explanation that “pricer per square foot” varies significantly from one subdivision to another, and from one size or age market segment to another within the same neighborhhood.  How much can it vary?  Here’s a look at home sales in the $200,000 price range (+/- 10%) in the Austin metropolitan area from January 1, 2012 to October 10, 2012, segmented by MLS market area [click on table to view more clearly]:

That table includes all kinds of residential property — houses, condos, townhouses, and mobile/manufactured homes.  To help with the answer to “what do you get,” I sorted by square feet — areas at the top of the chart, on average, sell more square feet for about $200,000 than areas farther down the list.

You can see that the range is huge.  In Pflugerville, Manor, and the area between Garfield and Bastrop, $200,000 buys 4 bedrooms and between 2,600 to 2,700 square feet.  In Downtown Austin, the UT Area, and the Westlake area, $200,000 buys 1 or 2 bedrooms in less than 1,000 square feet.

The group of rows at the bottom of the table show that “the” average price per square foot in Austin is about $112, but actual sales were closed this year from $39/square foot to $363/square foot.  The average values for the MLS area range from $78 to $278.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in the Greater Austin area, let’s talk about your specific situation.  I’m always happy to discuss real estate and market analysis, but without narrowing the conversation to a specific type of home in a specific part of town, there is no useful “average price per square foot.”

[For those with the time and interest, here are maps of the MLS Areas used in the table above:  CentralAustinAreaMap and ACTRISAreaMap-Outside Austin.]

About Bill Morris, Realtor

Many years of business experience (high tech, client service, business organization and start-up, including almost 20 years in real estate) tell me that service is the key to success and I look forward to serving you. I represent both buyers and sellers throughout the Austin metropolitan area, which means first-hand market knowledge is brought to bear on serving your needs. Learn more about my background and experience, my commitment to my clients, my profession, and to the real estate industry at



  1. Pingback: More about home prices around town « Bill Morris on Austin Real Estate - October 13, 2012

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