Everyone knows that the housing market has been on the decline throughout the entire country, but according to research conducted by Metrostudy, the decline is not as rampant in the Austin area as it is in other parts of the country. In fact, when looking at the number of housing starts in the area, Austin is doing much better than other metro areas.
According to a report released by Metrostudy, Austin has actually experienced the smallest decline out of the 81 markets that were studied. Still, the Houston-based research group does acknowledge that the Austin area experienced a 66% decrease in housing starts when figures for the end of 2008 were compared to the area’s peak third quarter in 2006.
“South Florida’s quarterly starts declined 96.5% from their peak, and Naples-Fort Myers’ quarterly starts dropped 92.9% from their peak as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2008,” Brad Hunter, who is the national director of consulting for Metrostudy, was quoted as saying in the Austin Biz Journals.
Unfortunately, the report also determined that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s latest reports have underestimated the nationwide problem, despite the fact that the reports show sales have fallen to the lowest recorded levels. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 331,000 new homes were sold at an annualized rate, but Hunter states this does not paint the full picture.
“The government’s new-home sales numbers ignore cancellations of contracts by home buyers,” Hunter is reported as saying. “Buyers who have signed contracts to purchase homes are either unwilling or unable to close on those homes, and this trend is worsening in some markets because of the economy.”
Metrostudy’s research also showed that the rate of absorption for new homes has also slowed dramatically in never every housing market throughout the country.
“Even markets that didn’t experience a price bubble, such as Texas and North Carolina, are getting hit by consumer panic, and homebuilders are suffering,” Hunter went on to say.