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Austin real estate market weathering the storm well

Austin real estate continues to hold up well compared to the rest of the US
Austin real estate continues to hold up well compared to the rest of the US
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

Home ownership brings lots of joy and satisfaction but homeowners across the US have been hit hard by plummeting home values in recent years. Austin home owners can take some comfort, though, in the fact that the Austin real estate market has held up very well compared to other cities in the US.

Trulia.com (which tracks home sales data across the US) shows that the median sales price for
Austin
home is only slightly off the highs from early 2006, and that the median sales price for 2009 versus 2008 was essentially flat. 

That’s in pretty stark contrast to cities such as Phoenix and
Las Vegas
, where median sales prices have plummeted by 60-75% from their highs in early 2007. To put that into real dollars, an average home in Phoenix that sold for $230,000 in 2007 is now selling for $105,000, while an average home in
Austin
that sold for $135,000 in 2006 is currently selling for about $130,000.

That’s not great news, as
Austin
home and condo owners obviously would have preferred if their homes had appreciated substantially in value, but it could obviously be much worse. A quick tour of some Austin real estate blogs maintained by area realtors and brokers also backs up the idea that, all things considered, the Austin real estate market is holding up well:

"The
Austin
market had another strong month in November. The number of sales was up 58% compared to last year at this time. While home sales stats for November 2008 were abnormally low, there is still little doubt that the
Austin
real estate market is generally stronger than what we have been experiencing for the last year.” - Austin Real Estate Blog

One thing we are seeing is fewer listings coming on the market and more listings selling.  People may be waiting another month or so to put homes back on the market.  But if sales stay ahead of new listings, inventory will go down.  Assuming demand continues high, we may finally see enough of a reduction of inventory to push prices up.” – Austin Real Estate Guy Blog 

"A recent discussion with the Austin Board of Realtors and Home Builders Association of Greater Austin has shown reason to be hopeful for a healthy 2010. According to
Austin
real estate experts, the housing market could see a rebound during 2010. On January 13, members from each of these organizations noted the area’s better job market as a possible cause of this.” - EricBramlett.com 

One saving grace for the Austin housing market is that job prospects still remain strong for the
Austin
area. The city consistently ranks at the top of various studies and lists as far as top ten cities in the
US
to live in work in, based on factors such as job growth, affordable housing, and schools and universities. A steady influx of freshly-minted Austinites from states such as
California has helped keep demand for houses high, and available jobs have kept the Austin foreclosure rate  below the national average. 

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