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Here are the April/2017 MLS single-family statistics for Austin, TX:
This comment was published in our local newspaper yesterday: "After a slow beginning to the year, increases in single-family home sales, homes on the market, and housing inventory across the region in April 2017 indicate that the Central Texas housing market is ramping up for a strong summer selling season," Brandy Guthrie, 2017 ABOR president, said in a statement.” At first, I was a bit baffled since increasing inventory usually means a market is turning from a seller’s market which isn’t good news for home sellers. However, since there are more home buyers than home sellers right now, sales will likely go up further due to more buyers getting contracts on homes….at least for awhile. I’m often asked about my color choices for the graphic above since what is good for a home seller is generally bad for a home buyer and vice versa. For example, lower inventory is good for sellers since they have less competition, but bad for buyers due to the increased buyer pool competing for fewer homes. So, I made the decision to focus on the positive or negative aspects of home sellers for my graphics. After all, if there is no inventory--of any product in any market--there are no sales regardless of how many buyers there are.
Now, about last month: There are some disconcerting aspects of the figures since this is our 2nd month in a row where we had a double-digit negatives for both the number of listings and our months of inventory. And, we are comparing this to April, 2016. 2016 was a good year, but not the red hot year we had a few years ago, so we are still slowing down from an average year. Granted, 2.5 months of inventory is still incredibly low (less than 6 is considered a seller’s market) and we had 10,749 homes for sale in April, 2010 during the recession, so we aren’t doing poorly. And, as always, our home prices have defied all odds by increasing 6% (median) and 7% (average) which--ironically--are the exact same numbers we’ve had for the past 3 months. As I’ve mentioned before, we are experiencing a slight cooling of our Austin real estate market so I will be monitoring this closely in the coming months. From everything I’ve read, this year will continue to be a good one for home sellers, but 2018 might be our transition year. I can see our inventory slowly moving up to 4 or 5 months by the end of this year and going into a market in equilibrium (5-7 months of inventory) where neither home sellers nor home buyers have an advantage in 2018.