Avery Ranch And 78717 Real Estate Housing Market Update August 2021

Is The Market Crashing?

When someone tells me the market is going to crash, I like to ask what that means to them. If my home is worth $800,000 today and the market crashes what will my home be worth and at what date? Nobody has ever been able to give me an answer to those questions.

Let me save you the suspense of having to read to the end…No, the market is not crashing. However, we are seeing the market “calming” in some areas and price ranges. Whether you are buying or selling it’s important to know what that means for you.

Why is this happening? We do know why prices have risen so dramatically this year. It’s because there have been so few homes for sale, that’s no secret. When a home is called “Active” it means it is not under contract, you can actually buy that house. Two years ago, at this time of the year there were over 7,000 homes you could buy in the Austin MLS. By January of 2021 there were barely over 1,000 homes for sale. As I write this in early August there are 3,752 Active homes for sale. That is still a low number of homes for sale but significantly more than we had in January so there’s no doubt that will affect the perception buyers have in the market. That extra price buyers were willing to pay (that I described as the whipped cream on an ice cream sundae) was the result of buyers fearing they could never find another home to buy. Time will tell how buyers will react when they have a few extra choices.

As the number of Active listings in increasing the average number of days it takes for a home to sell is also increasing. By no means is this a disaster. At a presentation for the local builders group an economist compared our market as going from a “Super, Super, Super, Super, Super Seller’s Market” to a “Super, Super, Super, Super Seller’s Market.”

Some buyers are thinking the tide has turned and the market is dropping. We put 2 homes on the market this weekend and we have multiple offers on both so in my opinion the market is still excellent for sellers, but there are some changes you should be aware of. Many buyers are going to confuse the market going from 40-50% appreciation to perhaps a more normal appreciation market and not understand that still means prices are going up. There may be less competition for each home but price appreciation momentum slowing doesn’t mean the market is crashing.

Why are we seeing an increase in Active listings? In part we normally see an increase in listings during the summer, but I believe what’s happening is more than our typical seasonality. Over the past few weeks, the rate of growth has begun to slow and fewer buyers are seeking mortgages to purchase homes.

Rental rates have gone up dramatically, indicating many buyers have put their home search on pause or decided to rent first before buying when they relocated. Anecdotally we have noticed a decrease in the number of agents doing Facetime tours on our listings and a decrease in the number of buyers expecting they will need to pay 20% over asking price on every listing. Don’t interpret that to mean people aren’t still relocating here. At this time, we have 4 listings under contract to buyers who are relocating and our open houses last weekend were full of people moving here from all over the country, not just California.

In part we are also seeing some homes not selling because the sellers overestimated the market and were overconfident about buyers paying top dollar for anything. This is a quote from a local Realtor in one of the real estate Facebook groups describing what she is seeing in the market… ”Agents not prepping listings, just putting crap on the market at top dollar. My buyers aren’t going for that!”

“Agents not prepping listings, just putting crap on the market at top dollar. My buyers aren’t going for that!”

– Anonymous Austin Realtor

Fueled by stories of sellers getting 97 offers and buyers buying with no inspections it’s understandable why this can happen. Many homes can still be sold “As-Is” with no make-ready necessary but it’s important to think about the buyer profile for your home before putting your home on the market. It’s also important you have a listing agent who is actively working in the market and can give you advice based on what’s happening in the market on a daily basis, not what happened 4 months ago. The buyer pool is strong enough to keep the housing market strong but when there are more homes to choose from you can expect buyers to be a little pickier.

What’s The Good News?

The #1 question I’m asked is “I want to sell my home but then what do I do, there aren’t any homes to buy?” The good news is now we may have the answer. All of our sellers who decided to “burn their boats” and put their home on the market this year have landed in a better place. I expect the same would happen for you. Give us a call if you have been holding off until there was more to buy.

In addition to the inventory of homes increasing the builders are also selling homes again! Because we help so many people downsize, I am especially excited about a new 1,000 home Active Adult community that is about to start selling for new home delivery in early 2022. This will be a popular product so you will want to get on the VIP buyer list right away.

Do We Expect More Foreclosures?

With the eviction moratorium and mortgage forbearances ending soon the knee jerk reaction is to say we will see a flood of foreclosures. I’m not making light of the fact that some people will definitely be in trouble and we will see a rise in foreclosures, but you tell me where the mass foreclosures are going to come from?

This is a chart of 20 random sales taken from Cedar Park in May. I like to look at the down payments buyers are making. If I see lower down payments that would put buyers in a greater chance of being foreclosed on if we see a small drop in the market. We would need to see foreclosures for the market to truly crash. The larger down payments here indicate you’d have to see a large drop in prices to see foreclosures with the homes that were purchased even a couple months ago, not to mention all the other homes whose equity has dramatically increased in the last year. In addition, the big difference between today and 2008 the lack of risky loans in the market today.

We know some people will be in a bad situation in the next few months. If that is you or one of your friends contact us before it’s too late for a no-pressure consultation.

Advice For Sellers And Buyers

We have just been hired by 2 sellers whose homes didn’t sell. Both told me a similar story that they thought the market was so good they could hire their friend who works part time and lives in Dripping Springs as their agent. Now that their home wasn’t selling, they realized that isn’t going to cut it in the current market. Small changes in the market can make a huge difference. When you are choosing a listing agent make sure you ask yourself if they have the skills to navigate your home sale. Will they know what to do if your home doesn’t sell the first weekend?

For buyers now is not the time to give up! This may be the best opportunity to buy a home with less competition but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t a competitive environment for the great homes. I expect over the next 10 years your risk isn’t paying $5k too much for a home. Your greatest risk is doing nothing and then be forced to buy a home later 30 miles from where you really want to live.

Where Are Our Clients Moving To?

With so many people moving here it’s easy to forget where people are moving when they sell. Here is where some of our seller clients have moved to recently. Montana, Houston, Seattle x 2, San Diego x 2, Belton, Travisso, Nashville and Leander. Two are renting short term so they have flexibility while they figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. That’s a good position to be in right now. My favorite location are clients who are moving to Cancun as soon as they retire, I wish I could go with them!

Of course, I could be wrong about all of this. As always, be careful where you are getting your information. Make sure you are consulting with a qualified advisor. We don’t want you to make a bad decision because you had bad information. If there are any real estate related questions, we can answer for you contact us today at 512-791-7473.

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