Austin Real Estate Market Update, Nov. 2014

Wow. The Austin market never stops--12 months out of the year, but I am still amazed at how busy I am and other experienced Realtors are right now. To be right in the full swing of Hanukkah and Christmas just days away, I am still trying to figure out how I will be stopping for a few days to celebrate the holidays with my family. But, yes, I will be taking time with my family this week and I will also be thinking about you and your family. I hope you will have a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to hearing from you after your celebrations and family time.

So, here are the charted numbers comparing 2013's record year to 2014's year to date. Coming up to the summer, you can see that the month to month and quarterly numbers were very close. As we got into the summer, June and July traded "bests" and August pushed 2013 ahead--until we got through September and October, where 2014 reasserted the lead over 2013. November appears to have brought back some balance to that picture again, but we have yet to see how much of the current contract back log of 2,728 homes will close this year, and how much of that will carry over into 2015. If 800 of the 2,728 open contract close in 2014, we will have a new record year on our hands. Very interesting. Either way, it will be a year to remember.

Well, one thing is for sure, it is going to be another banner year in Austin Real Estate. As to whether or not 2014 will ultimately pass 2013 in unit sales is still unknown. It will be interesting to see where this ends up.

These numbers reflect the Greater Austin MLS data for Single Family Homes, Condos and Townhouses, through Nov. 2014: 
  • Homes currently for sale: 5,998  (That's not a lot of houses)
  • Homes currently under contract: 2,728
  • Homes SOLD Jan - Nov: 28,139
  • 86 more homes than what sold YTD during the 2013 record year
  • During the last three months we have leapfrogged 2013 sales again
  • Median home values continue to go up in 2014
  • The median home value in 2014 for the prior QTR rose MTM: $240.5k to $243k
  • The median home value in 2013 for the same 3 months: $220k
  • The median home value rose month to month during the past 90 days ending in Nov
  • Current inventory based on a 90 day run rate is 2.77 months
  • Median days on market (DOM) in many communities is no more than a week
  • DOM in October was 31 days--a few days higher than previous months
  • Price is still mostly going up over last year and low interest rates continue to feed investor frenzies as well 
NOTE: There are some minor discrepancies in the numbers from month to month and quarter to quarter. Some of this is due to the fact that numbers are getting added constantly by Realtors--sometimes weeks after the property has closed. Some of these may be due to the fact that Austin Board of Realtors has changed our MLS database again and sometimes this can cause some differences in how numbers are generated and calculated.

Q: Why the Mark Twain image?
A: When I read stats and when I write stats on this blog, I am constantly reminded of the words of Mark Twain who once said: "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn lies and Statistics."  I think this is a very fair warning for anyone who reports numbers as a part of their business. It is always my goal to be as clear and clean as possible in the numbers that I report and to provide those numbers in such a way that the numbers speak for themselves. I think all too often statistics are given weight in arguments that they may not merit. Yes, numbers are useful tools, and that is why I report on our Austin Real Estate numbers almost every month. But numbers that require a PhD to interpret, may not be helpful and I think this may be the point where Mr. Twain might suggest it is time to get off that train and find a new direction.


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