Just read an exuberant post about how “Austin Real Estate Is Kicking Major Butt”: with relatively low 6.7% unemployment rate, Austin’s job market is a magnet, home sales are up, values are stable, mortgage rates are low. According to this post, it’s a healthy market.
Though the Austin American-Statesman doesn’t say Austin’s “kicking butt,” it suggests that the “housing market might be recovering”, noting that home starts were up 27% in 3Q 20ll and there was a 2% growth rate in jobs over the 12 months ending in August – that’s 15,500 new jobs. The Statesman’s piece is not altogether rosy. It quotes Eldon Rude of Metrostudy: “Although Austin continues to exhibit the key drivers for housing demand — job creation and population growth — the one ingredient we are missing is strong consumer confidence. Considering the dark economic news that has circulated in the last 60 days, it is hard to expect that the demand for new homes will pick up strongly in the short term.” However the Statesman says that “a number of builders are putting new homes on the ground and say they are seeing encouraging signs.” Scott Eckley, vice president of sales for Pulte Homes in Austin, is quoted as saying “for the month of September we are going to sell more than 75-plus homes net, which is obviously a robust number.” He says that the key to the healthy market is continued job growth.
Another good sign from the Statesman: 221 homes will be added to the local inventory via new development in the Mueller subdivision, the former site of the Austin airport which was repurposed as a sustainable development project by the City of Austin and Catellus Development.
My view is that the market has picked up steadily for the last year, and we are approaching a balanced market where there’s around a six month supply of homes on the market. I think this will hold into the spring, meaning a robust 2012 and contninued strong sales through the fall and winter, if the economy remains fairly stable. This is probably due to pent-up demand and the incredibly low interest rates.
Contact me (mlebkowsky at cbunited.com) for more specific and concrete information about the neighborhood you’re interested in.