AUSTIN MARKET STATISTICS
According to the Austin MLS report, 1,455 single-family homes were sold in the Austin area in October 2011, 19 percent more than in October 2010 but fewer homes than in September 2011 which was 31 percent more than in September 2010. During the same period, the median price for a home was $ 189,720, or three percent less than the same month of the prior year. Judith Bundschuh, Chairman of the Austin Board of Realtor commented, “In October, Austin saw its fifth straight month of year-over-year sales volume increases.”
According to MLS, inventory of homes continues to decrease and was lower than any month since 2008. Austin area homes spent an average of 82 days on the market in October 2011, ten days less than the same month of the prior year. The market had 2% fewer new listings, 18% fewer active listings, and 15% more pending sales than in October 2010.
In October 2011, the Austin market had five months of inventory, 1.4 months less than October 2010.
Thirty-eight percent more condos and townhouses were purchased in September 2011 than in September 2010, or a total of 161. The median price for condos was $ 179,000 or 12% more than in October 2010. A good indicator of the market is the lease situation. In September 2011, 1,426 properties were leased which is a seventeen percent increase over September 2010. In October 2011, 1160 properties were leased, 4% less than in October 2010. The median lease price was
When I checked the figures in MLS, I saw a great variation of months of inventory — this is important for Buyers and Sellers to understand. Although the all area median is 5.65 months – here are figures for some other areas. SWW 1.89 months, 1B 5.38 months, 1A 3.98 months, 8W 4.35 months and 10N 3.90 months. If you need figures for a specific neighborhood, email me.
FOUNDATION ISSUES CAUSED BY OUR DRY WEATHER
There are many areas in Austin where homes have minor or major foundation problems. All homes settle to varying degrees. Briefly, when the soil becomes dry, it shrinks; when it becomes wet, it swells. In general, problems start to happen when the soil retains too much water which can cause stress and turn into cracks.
Irrespective of the weather conditions, you should always make sure, that the soil slopes away from your home to minimize water pooling. Gutters and downspouts can help, pointing away from the slab. Plant trees further away from the house – not only can the roots damage the foundation but too much watering can stress the foundation or draw water away from the foundation.
A consistent watering of the perimeter of your home can ease foundation problems. With the draught and watering restrictions we are experiencing, this has become difficult. Watering systems including soaker hoses are used to maintain the same level of moisture. But it is challenging to implement this on a regular basis especially with the restrictions in place. Try to maintain the areas near the perimeter of your home, keep vegetation and plants in good order, hopefully not too close to the house. Watch for any pulling away of the soil where the slab meets the ground; watch the soil where the plants are to see if the soil is cracking.
REMODELING AT ITS HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE 2004
I can see this all around me and many neighborhoods I am driving through, for major as well as minor remodeling jobs. Home owners making improvements to get an edge over the competition when selling or to enjoy their home more since they plan to own it longer than they thought. I am often asked what an owner should remodel – kitchen or bedroom? Considering the amount of time everybody spends in the kitchen, the kitchen remodeling expense seems to be worth it. Homeowners normally recoup 73 percent of the cost. When making a decision on counter tops keep in mind, that top-of-the line granite and marble may not be worth it – unless you personally love the look. There are now less expensive but attractive countertops that very much look like granite.
HOW TO INTERPRET INTERNET HOUSING DATA
A buyer and seller has access to an incredible amount of data concerning his/her home and neighborhood and sometimes it looks like they could do the transaction without a Realtor. But the information found on the internet is not always the most recent and most comprehensive one. I do not know how long information remains on the net but I know from calls I receive that long after a listing has been sold, it seems to stay in the universe. One important factor to take into consideration is always the absorption rate not often addressed but it influences value tremendously – how long will it take for the market to sell the current inventory. Do you the buyer understand the real estate presentation? Do you know that if you deal with the listing agent, you remain a customer and are not treated as a client? Do you have your inspectors lined up for the option period? Your loan officer who should have already explained different loan programs to you?
ENERGY TAX CREDITS : MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND IT BEFORE YOU COMMIT TO MAKE CHANGES
My advice is not to rush into major energy-efficient upgrades. But if you need to replace your furnace, have always wanted to replace your windows, wanted to improve your insulation, had planned to install solar panels, and the like, then make sure the tax credit has not expired and be sure you know the numbers – for the tax credit and for the projected savings. What does it mean in your circumstances, with your utility bills, to lower your energy bills? Do you have to implement other energy saving measures in order to save utility fees? A contractor alone should not be your only source to verify an available tax credit. I have recently come across a home in southwest Austin, built 1980, with 1,500 plus square feet, where the average monthly electric bill for 2010 was around $ 36.00. The previous owner had installed for about $ 33,000: new Anderson windows, solar energy panels, Thermal Shield Radiant Roof Barrier, new insulation, new water heater, rain barrels. The house felt great and the new owner got a fantastic deal on utility bills!
Should you pass on a house because it has been on the market for a long time?
Some Buyers are hesitant when they find out that “their” house has been on the market a very long time, perhaps10 months. It should not matter but you should find out the reason(s). The Buyer may think mold, termites, ghosts – but maybe the Seller first set the price too high; maybe the house was not ready for showing; the repairs were not made; the tenant was uncooperative; maybe the Seller was “testing” the market; maybe, maybe…… . Find out with the help of your Realtor and do not let a high number for days on market scare you away.
Austin Water Restrictions
As of September 6th we have Stage 2 Mandatory Watering Restrictions.
Residential Even numbers on Sunday
Residential Odd numbers on Saturday
I have seen some sprinkler systems still set to the two days per week schedule and I have also seen homeowner association notices on doors……
Enjoy the cool weather!
If you no longer wish to receive this letter please email email@example.com. Thank you.