According to the Austin Board of Realtors, home sales in central Texas increased by 5% in January when compared to home sales from just one year ago. In fact, the median sale price of homes rose by 1% to $179,250.
Seeing an increase in the median price of homes is certainly good news, as it is a positive sign that the economy in Austin is working toward rebounding as real estate prices start to move in an upward direction. Or course, the increase in prices is also an indicator that those who were looking to take advantage of the fall in prices may have lost out on the opportunity to purchase properties at their lowest price. Still, it is not too late to pick up a piece of Austin real estate at a much lower price than it would have been just a couple years ago.
An increase in median sale prices isn't the only positive news, however, as real estate agents also sold 884 previously owned homes during the month of January, which was up from the 840 homes they sold in January of 2009. So, not only are prices going up, but so are the number of buyers. In addition, sells are looking good for the future, as there were 1,417 pending sales in January, which represents a 7% increase when compared to January of last year.
According to John Horton, who is the chairman of the Board of Realtors, the low point of the current cycle was reached in January of 2009.
"With steady improvement throughout 2009 that continued in January 2010, we can see that we're one year into the recovery in Austin," said Horton in a Statesman article. "What's most important about this is that it's the kind of recovery we want: one that is steady, stable and consistent."
The volume of single-family home sales did manage to improve steadily throughout 2009. During the first half of 2009, for example, the year-over-year sales narrowed and reached levels that were similar to those seen in 2008 during the summer peak, with the exception of the dip that took place in August. By the time fall came around, sales started to outperform the 2008 figures and actually saw a surge in October and November. According to experts, this spike in activity was likely due to the original deadline that had been placed on the first-time homebuyer tax credit. Sales also saw a modest increase in December of 2008 as they increased by 5%, which held steady into January.
"We're already seeing positive signs in sales volume and price appreciation," said Horton. "Those factors, combined with the population growth and additional job economists expect for our area in 2010, bode well for the long-term value of Austin real estate."