Market Review & Housing Affordability
Wanted to give you some links that provide good information on the Austin real estate market, 2010 summary and what we’re seeing right now early into 2011. These are some of the main data resources we use in tracking the market.
One thing that we watch with interest is what we call the Housing Affordability Index (HAI). Published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the HAI is the ability of the average family to afford the average home with only 20% down. It measures whether a typical family could qualify for a typical mortgage on a typical house. The index is up, meaning affordability is up mainly because of 2 of these 3 factors … pretty sure the typical family income is not up so it’s the seriously low mortgage rates and the downward effect of home prices creating the increased HAI. From 1990 – 2008, the index was around 115-140; it’s over 180 right now. When interest rates go up, the index will creep back down.
The Austin Board of Realtors has an excellent report out, Implications & Expectations for Austin’s Market, that outlines the overall 2010 market results.
One of the main things we’re seeing in Austin is price softening but volume of sales creeping up. These are averages for Austin and your local neighborhood market may have different trends with many neighborhoods holding steady. Buyers will pick up this spring but so will the number of homes on the market.
Again, we’re always saying real estate is local and we are happy to run stats & strategy specific to your neighborhood.