Friday, August 19, 2011

Austin Home Sales Up, Median Price Down in July

There was an increase in the number of homes purchased in Austin this July than a year ago, although they tended towards less expensive ones. There was a 32% increase over July 2010 numbers meaning more than 1,970 single-family homes were sold in Austin in July 2011. The median sales price, however, declined to $196,750, an 11% drop. Those homes also were on the marked 5% longer than July 2010.

The drop in median price reflects a demand for lower-priced homes in the city. Austinites are searching for bargains right now. With interest rates at historic lows, the number of investors looking to take advantage of the savings could be driving the increase in number of homes sold. With the Federal Reserve announcing rates staying low until 2013 coupled with the busy summer sales season, August numbers could reflect a similar increase.

Even with a decrease in the median sales price, the total value of Austin-area homes sold in July was nearly $525 million, up 23% from last July. All of these homes getting snatched up has created a 20% drop in inventory to 9,393 single-family homes currently on the market.

If you are a condo or townhome owner, it's good news all around! 205 townhouses and condominiums were sold in July, a 45% increase over July 2010. In addition, the median price for condos and townhomes grew 5% to $164,250.

Federal Reserve to Keep Interest Rates Low Until 2013!

With all that has been going on with our economy, a little bit of good news never hurts! The Federal Reserve last Tuesday announced that they would maintain rates at it's exceptionally low level (near zero) though 2013 to promote on going economic recovery and control inflation. This decision was based on the labor markets nationwide showing little improvement since their last meeting along with slow signs of growth, inflation in the energy markets, and only a slow decline in the unemployment rate.

Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as interest rates fell to their lowest level this year. The turmoil in the stock market has caused a dive in interest rates; we are currently seeing conventional loans at 3.99% and FHA as low as 3.5%.  
What does this mean to you? An interest rate change of 1% equals about a 12% change in buying power, so if you could afford $200,000 loan at 5%, at a 4% interest rate you can now afford a $224,000 loan for the same monthly payment. Even refinancing into a lower rate can save you hundreds in your mortgage payment!

Interest rates are at their lowest point in history and it appears as though we will see them stay at about this level for a little longer. If you are looking to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to capitalize on the tremendous investment that we have in property ownership, now is the time! Whether you or a friend, family member, or business colleague is looking to purchase or sell to up-size or down-size I can help with that! Even if you just want to refinance to take advantage of these interest rates, I know of several great lender's who can assist that have low closing costs to maximize your savings! Let me know how I can help!