In 2016 in Review and Price Variation Around Austin I discussed sales of Single Family Homes (houses) in many areas of the Austin metro area. I did not mention Downtown Austin in those posts because that are very few houses in the area. I’ll fill in that blank here.
Between July 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016, there were 120 sales of houses and condominiums. Two of those were houses. The rest were condos. No sales of townhouses were reported in our MLS system. Like the rest of the Greater Austin area, downtown properties sold quickly – with a median of 36 days on market (compared to 21 days in the rest of the metro). On average, downtown properties closed at 98.2% of list price, very near the average elsewhere. Predictably, living downtown generally costs more than living elsewhere:
Aside from the mix of houses and condos, the real difference in downtown is what you get for a dollar. Here’s a snapshot:
In Price Variation Around Austin, you saw that Austin-West/Westlake had the highest average and median sale prices in the metro area, but on a Price per Square Foot basis, the average of the two sales was essentially twice that of sales during the same period in West Austin and Westlake. Downtown condominiums were also about twice as expensive as that area, and more than triple the price per SF as houses in the rest of the metro area.
It’s important to remember that condo prices don’t include monthly condo association fees, so actual housing costs are even higher in most downtown properties. Buying a condominium, though, is really a lifestyle choice, and if convenience and a maintenance-fee life are important, then this is a completely legitimate choice for those who can afford it.