Today in Austin real estate: It's neither really good nor really bad. It's complicated.
I expect April to close at about 500 sales, about half of what we'd expect without COVID. As of today, April 21st, we've had 425 closings in Austin for single-family homes. So we may end just a bit higher than 500 in closed sales for single-family homes in Austin.
I got curious today about how those sales are spread across different price ranges. Are homes under $500,000 selling, but over $500,000 not so much? Does the price range matter?
It does not seem that price range particularly matters right now, surprisingly. Homes are still selling from $200,000 up to over $3,000,000 in roughly the same proportions as we saw in April of 2019.
BUT, proportions and totals are two very different things. Here's an example: while the proportion of sales happening between $600,000 and $700,000 in April is very similar (8% of all sales versus 9%) the total number is very different (40 closings in April of 2020 versus 82 closings in April of 2019).
What I believe this means is that we have to pay very close attention to inventory, or homes available, in micro-markets, perhaps as small as individual neighborhoods.
I think a good rule of thumb right now would be that if the home is the only one of its kind in the neighborhood, and its priced properly based on recent sales, it will likely sell fast. (This is exactly what happened with our listing on Twisted Elm which was the only home of it's kind for sale, and went pending after about a week on the market, despite very stringent showing rules.)
If a home has several similar homes in terms of price and features nearby, you'll need to price lower than recent comps to move it. How quickly a home sells, and how close to asking price it sells, will be much more sensitive right now to nearby competition than usual.
This might sound obvious, but here's why this matters:
Austin is an active enough market that for the last several years, I have not found it necessary to adjust pricing much based on whether there were two other homes for sale nearby. Usually, pricing based on recent sales data was enough, whether the home was the only home for sale right that moment, or whether two neighbors were also selling. It didn't seem to matter much. Today, I think it does matter a lot.
So as I've said a few times in the last few weeks, things are neither "really good" nor "really bad" in the Austin real estate market right now. It's complicated. If you want to discuss your specific situation, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.