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Here are the December/2018 MLS single-family statistics for Austin, TX:
Austin home sales didn’t end 2018 well with 7 of our 8 categories registering in the red (ie-negative trending). I had to go back to July/2009 to find a worse month and that was less than a year after the Wall Street meltdown our country experienced in Sep/2008. Three of the red categories were 10%+ negative, too, with listings, sales and inventory all registering dark red.Perhaps the biggest shock was our pricing going down 2% for median prices and 1% for average prices. Home price increases have been taken for granted since our current bull run started in Mar/2011.In fact, I have to go back to Jan/2012 to find prices dropping for both categories.
Here are the averages for all of 2018:
As you can see, we ended up with 4 green categories and 4 red categories which is close to what we’ve seen the past few years (2016 was the exception with all greens). This is the first time, however, going back to 2013 that our sales and pendings dropped.As I’ve stated many times before, I don’t believe this is a forecast of where our market is headed in the near future. If you are driving at 100 mph and slow down to 70 mph, it feels like you've really slowed but you're still traveling fast. Our market is simply slowing down from the breakneck speed it has experienced the past 8 years. Even if our nation experiences a recession in 2020 as many economists are predicting, the robust economy and job growth Austin has should propel us through the recession with little negative effect.
This can be seen in the graph below showing Austin home price growth over the past 20 years. Neither the dotcom bust nor the Great Recession had any dramatic effect on our local real estate market and prices. And, Austin is more of an international city today with more prominence and a strong future growth forecast, unlike most other communities. We are poised to weather most anything in the next few years.Remember the old adage: “All real estate is local”...it is a good time to live in Austin, TX!