I get asked this question quite a bit. It comes from friends, acquaintances, clients, potential buyers, sellers, random strangers (well, maybe those those as much). Everyone wants to know how the market is doing.
Last night, while I was at church, I was speaking to three people who seemed enthralled with my response to the following:
“Jason, how’s business for you? Is it pretty tough right now?”
First, let me explain that I can’t bring myself to use an easy canned response with the current economic climate. When things were truly great, I said so. Now that things are….well, less great, I have a far longer answer, and it goes something like this:
The market here is okay, but it’s not as strong as it was two or three years ago. We are still making a good living, but not as much money as in 2005 and 2006. Austin, and Texas in general, have been largely insulated from the serious real estate problems that you hear about, because prices went up at a more normal pace here, rather than skyrocketing. We never had a “bubble” to pop.
What I have noticed lately is that the overall national economy is catching up with us, and we have seen less activity because people who want to move here are having trouble selling their homes in other markets around the country, so many times they must rent instead while they wait for the other place to sell. They have to determine if they can take a loss, and how much loss is acceptable.
Our local economy is fundamentally strong, however, and prices did increase by about 2% this past year, but with fewer sales. Whenever the national economy makes a turn, we are poised for some terrific times here in Austin.
If they are still awake at the end of my spiel, they may have questions about their particular circumstance or needs.
If you are thinking of making a move in the Austin real estate market, here are my responses for you:
IF YOU ARE THINKING OF BUYING A HOME
I can’t remember a time in my own career that has provided better buying conditions. Inventory is high, interest rates remain relatively low, and many sellers are ready to deal in order to sell their properties. There are also opportunities to find short sales and foreclosure homes available, and banks will often heavily discount these in order to get them “off the books”.
IF YOU ARE THINKING OF SELLING YOUR HOME
This is something that is far easier to evaluate on a case-by-case basis, rather than giving you a blanket statement about whether it will work today. If you have a home that is affordable for most buyers, and it’s in good condition, and priced correctly, it will likely sell reasonably quickly. If your home would be considered expensive, you have a LOT of competition out there, so price is critical.
I would love the opportunity to speak with you if you are sincerely considering a move to or from Austin, please feel free to give me a call anytime on my cell phone at 512-796-7653 or email me – Jason@austintexashomes.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon! You can also search the database of Austin homes at our website, www.austintexashomes.com.