If you’re selling residential property in Austin/Central Texas, chances are market conditions are on your side. Considering the five-county metropolitan area, listing inventory is down to about 3 1/2 months’ supply. Compare that to 6 to 6 1/2 months — a “balanced” market — and it is clear that we are under-inventoried. Moreover, the average residential sale price across the metro area increased 8.9% from October 2011 to October 2012. A textbook seller’s market, as is borne out in my Austin Market Dashboard.
As always, large averages hide a lot of important details. I have recently worked in neighborhoods with lower inventory than the area average — 1.5 to 3 months’ supply — and I have worked where inventory will last 6.5 to 7 months at the current pace of sales. I have been in areas where the average sale price increased even more than the metro average, and in areas where average prices have actually gone down over the past year.
Generally, single family homes have seen different market performance than condos and townhouses, and those property types have behaved differently than investment properties — duplexes and fourplexes, for example. Unimproved land is an entirely different situation — ranging from places where good, buildable lots sell almost immediately to others where one of my recent market analyses indicates that current listing inventory will last more than six years! I walked a lakefront lot in recent weeks that has lost about 65% of its value since it last sold in 2007!
My point? Even in one of the hottest metropolitan market areas in the country, there are huge variations in market conditions. Don’t read one article or watch a video about the seller’s market in Austin and assume it describes your property, or a property you may want to buy. Real estate is still very much a hyperlocal business, and you deserve detailed, professional consultation about your specific situation. Don’t settle for anything less.