Saturday, January 31, 2009

Austin’s housing decline not as severe as others

Friday, January 30, 2009, 12:33pm CST | Modified: Friday, January 30, 2009, 12:57pm
Austin’s housing decline not as severe as others
reprinted from : Austin Business Journal
While Austin has seen a drop in housing starts, its decline from the market’s peak has been relatively gentle compared to other cities, according to research from Houston-based Metrostudy.

A study released Jan. 29 from the housing industry research firm said Austin has experienced a 66 percent decline in housing starts from its peak in the third quarter of 2006 to the end of 2008. That’s the smallest decline out of the 81 markets Metrostudy researched.

“South Florida’s quarterly starts declined 96.5 percent from their peak, and Naples-Fort Myers’ quarterly starts dropped 92.9 percent from their peak, as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2008,” said Brad Hunter, national director of consulting for Metrostudy.

The report also said the U.S. Department of Commerce’s latest reading on new home sales, which show that sales have fallen to the lowest level on record, understate the nationwide problem.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s numbers showed 331,000 new homes sold at an annualized rate.

“The government’s new-home sales numbers ignore cancellations of contracts by reluctant home buyers,” said Hunter. “Buyers who have signed contracts to purchase homes are either unwilling or unable to close on those homes, and this trend is worsening in some markets because of the economy.”

According to Metrostudy’s research, the pace of new-home absorption has slowed sharply in almost every housing market in the country.

“Even markets that didn’t experience a price bubble, such as Texas and North Carolina, are getting hit by consumer panic, and homebuilders are suffering,” Hunter said.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Top ten sellers' markets; we made the list ya'll

Top Sellers' Markets
1. Raleigh, NC
2. San Francisco, CA
3. Austin, TX
4. San Antonio, TX
5. St. Louis, MO
6. Houston, TX
7. Portland, OR
8. Dallas, TX
9. Denver, CO
10. Baltimore, MD

This came from Yahoo Real Estate which sited Business Week 1/6/2009

I've heard from many clients; "If only I would have sold last year..." Yes the market is a bit softer, but on the other hand... it is also a bit of a perfect storm, if you will. Let me explain.

If you're looking to upgrade homes, perhaps you'll have to sell for a little less then you would have last year but look at the trade offs from last year

1. Builder's incentives are amazing. Builders are dropping their prices as much as 20% in some cases. So you lower your price 5 %, but get a much better deal on the other side. I have seen $500,000 inventory homes drop $120,000. These builders need to liquidate their inventory.

2. Interest rates are incredibly low, even lower then a few years back when everyone was refinancing. What you give up in sales price on your house, you could easily make up in an incredible interest rate.

3. More homes on the market to choose from, especially foreclosures and sellers needing to sell quick.

Most realtors, including yours truly, will cut their commission on the sale of your home if you are buying another home from them.

Just some things to consider....