About a month ago I wrote in Trends to Watch about signs that the Austin/Central Texas residential real estate market might be moderating a bit after 5-plus years of unprecedented boom times. I didn’t reach any solid conclusion then, and 30 days later the signals are still mixed. Nonetheless, with final data in for October I want to comment on some related metrics.
One more month of Days to Sell data doesn’t visibly change the graph in my previous post. The five-year trend in that metric is clearly upward, however. On the other hand, a look at changes in unit sales and sale prices continues to show a strong market:
The slopes of both lines, now including October 2018 data, look largely unchanged and looking at the rate of change in unit sales seems to support that conclusion:
In this view, it’s clear that the “weakest” year-over-year performance in this market cycle actually happened in mid-2016. That’s not to say that the “normalization” I wrote about isn’t on the way, but it is an encouraging bit of information for comparison.
Another way to use the same data is to look at month-over-month price changes. I have also included a 12-month rolling average to filter out seasonality:
This view also shows surprising stability given other changes I wrote about last month. Still, there has been a clear upward trend in the time it takes to sell a home over the past few years, and the pace of price increases has slowed since 2015:
That resistance to increasing prices correlates with increasing Days to Sell, but doesn’t indicate a sharp downturn for our market. Indeed, this is the way a healthy, properly-functioning market works. Sales again outpaced new listing activity last month, and the “months’ supply” figure for the metro area dipped to 2.9 months in October. For now, the forces of supply-and-demand will likely continue to support prices through what may remain a gradual decline. With that said, it may be a few months before we can tell whether we’re seeing fairly typical seasonality or a fundamental change in our market dynamics. I will keep you informed.