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Well, it looks like November wasn’t the turning point we thought it might be with its strong numbers after 4 months of lackluster production--December numbers were also down some when compared to 2015. Our home prices, however, haven’t skipped a beat by rising every year (when compared to the previous year) since 2009! With the exception of November, the last 6 months of 2015 reflected a general slowing of the strong real estate market we’ve seen since spring of 2011. I mentioned this in a previous newsletter: the founder of Keller Williams, Gary Keller’s comments several months ago that he was seeing signs of a shift in our market (he was speaking generally about our national market). This is best seen in the graph below--Jan thru Jun started out gangbusters, but dropped off as the year progressed (July was especially puzzling since that is usually one of our strongest months each year).
How did our Austin real estate market finish 2016? Very well as you can see from the stats below. In fact, this is the first year without any red categories since 2013 when our red-hot market was just in its infancy, so--overall--2016 was a good year in Austin. We finished with 29,569 home sales vs. 29,068 in 2015...an increase of 501 homes or 1.7%. Mark Sprague, a local housing market expert with Independence Title in Austin, said this year’s market “will likely outpace last year’s levels, but at a less robust margin.” I, too, believe it will slow down by moving toward a soft landing over the next few years--it will be like going from 100mph to 70mph--sure, we are slowing down, but will still have a solid real estate market!