Balcones Village and Spicewood At Balcones Village comprise a wonderful neighborhood in Northwest Austin. Built mosting during the 1970s, the centerpiece of the community was Balcones Country Club and two golf courses — the oldest privately owned golf club in Austin at the time. One of those courses is dormant at this time, but two swimming pools and two sets of tennis courts add vitality, and some of the best schools in Round Rock ISD remain a significant reason for folks moving here.
The BV/S area experienced the most recent recession as a much milder event, even compared to the Greater Austin area, which itself was buffered from the worst of the housing downturn by a vibrant economy and a cultural setting that continued to attract employers and employees.
Since the rebound of the housing market, Austin has truly skyrocketed, and BV/S has enjoyed an even more exciting ride, with homes often selling even before the “coming soon” signs were put out, based only on the rumor of a new listing and a line of eager buyers who had targeted living here long ago.
Here’s a look at the Balcones Village/Spicewood market as of June 1, with 90 days’ sale history:
There is a wide range of sizes and ages of homes in the neighborhood, some completely remodeled and some that are largely unchanged since they were built. In all cases, though, oversized lots, wide setbacks and side- or rear-entry garages create a warm, welcoming feeling. Mature trees and an incredible amount green space are an important part of what makes BV/S what it is.
The median time on market for the 20 sales between March 1 and May 31 was just 5 days! Moreover, at that pace the inventory of active listings represents just a 1-month supply! (For comparison, visit my Austin Market Dashboard, where you’ll see that the Austin metro area is at about 2.7 months’ supply.)
If you talk to homeowners that are now preparing to put their BV/S homes on the market, it certainly seems that this amazing trend is continuing. Statistically, however, it appears that a relatively slower market may be on the way. One indicator is the 29 day median time on market for the homes that are under contract today, and the 44 day median of those that are still on the market. Another is the number of pending sales. If a buyer is using a new mortgage, 30 to 45 days from contract to closing is not unusual. Even cash sales often take 30 days or more, if only because the seller needs time to move out. With that in mind a benchmark of about 1 1/2 months of average sales in pending status general points to stable demand. In BV/S, we have less than 1/2 of 1 month’s sales under contract. Moreover, the Sold Dates shown in the table above, and the historical data below, show a significant spike in April:
Am I predicting a downturn? Absolutely not! The strengths and the attraction of the BV/S community remain. Like the rest of the Austin metro area, we will remain a fast-moving, under-inventoried housing market for at least the remainder of 2013, and probably for much of 2014. The flurry of activity in April 2013 may turn out to have been just that, however, a flurry. Nonetheless, I expect BV/S to remain a strong seller’s market for many months to come.
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