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John Crowe's Blog

By John Crowe | Broker in Austin, TX
  • Austin Market Reaches All-Time High

    Posted Under: General Area in Austin, Home Buying in Austin, Home Selling in Austin  |  July 30, 2014 10:17 AM  |  32 views  |  No comments

    Numbers, in this case, do not lie: Austin is setting records in the housing market, almost monthly. And the population seems to approve the area grows by 110 people every day. Thats not people moving here, its net growth (accounting for the few who leave, probably for job relocation or family reasons, because everyone loves this town).

    There is the good news/bad news trade to an accelerated market like Austins real estate environment. The bad: Inventory remains a challenge for buyers and seller expectation are beginning to slide above reality (every seller wants a dozen offers at more than 10% above their list price). Good advice and consulting with a broker or agent who knows the market and the business will neutralize these elements. The good: Sellers are moving homes in an absurd average of 39 days (June 2014 numbers) for maximum value and buyers are getting in on a market that project sustained health for years to come. I cant tell you how many of my buyer clients have shared how happy they are for buying three years ago, two years ago, six months ago. 

    Here's the breakdown with mid-year stats: 

    • New listings increased for June 2014 two percent year-over-year to 3,701 listings and active listings increasing six percent year-over-year to 6,246 listings.
    • The number of new homes on the market increased by more than 500 new homes to 4,941 homes, with new homes under construction comprising about 80 percent of that figure.
    • Also for June 2014, the median price for Austin-area single-family homes has increased 7% year-over-year to $252,520; alongside which average price rising 8% to $326,998.
    • Average sales price up 6% to $308,298
    • And on average, homes spend about 47 days on the market, seven days fewer days than the same time last year (June 2014 is 39 days, four days less than June 2013).

    Special thanks to ABOR for providing the stats.



    ABOR Stats

  • How to buy a home

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Austin, How To... in Austin, Home Ownership in Austin  |  August 28, 2013 3:01 PM  |  618 views  |  No comments
    The advice is as simple as it gets this month. I'm focusing on the buyer half of the deal, since it leans more towards emotion with the lower inventory available (and strong seller's market). 

    1) Have a plan. Why do you want to buy a home? Answer this question and you will find the basic elements of a good plan. Must haves, budget, neighborhoods, style, timing

    2) Hit the streets. Start with open houses, also drive target neighborhoods at different times on multiple days to get a feel for how it "lives" - people walking dogs, kids, out in yards and on porches, many/few cars/bikes/skateboards/runners. Roll down windows when driving and listen - quiet, traffic, music?

    3) Feel, then work, the home. When actively looking, walk through the home with no agenda other than appeal (do you like it?) once and then a second time - room-by-room - with a critical eye. The first is to let the emotional impact take effect, the second is to see if it's practical - would your stuff fit. Ok to open doors, closets, cabinets.

    4) Open your eyes. Look behind furniture, study the floor, ceilings and corners. Really looking for cracks, fissures, rot, any issues.

    5) Get out. Pay attention to the exterior and landscaping. Heritage trees healthy? What materials are on the home? Roof in good shape? Cracks in masonry? Everything look clean? Mechanicals? Also, pay attention to the direction the home faces and where windows are located - western sun can cook you in Texas. 

    Sounds easy, right? It is. There is, of course, a seller's plan - contact me if you want it.

    If you, or anyone you know, is considering selling or buying a home in 2013, please get in touch with me or send me the contact details. Happy to share my thoughts on the real estate market and help them make the best decision for their needs.

  • August Market Update - Austin Numbers

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Austin, Home Buying in Austin, Home Selling in Austin  |  August 20, 2013 3:01 PM  |  613 views  |  No comments
    Austin is a mere 11 days away from the magic 30 days or less on market for listings. It's an incredible concept, considering a lot of undesirable homes exist in the less-than-3-months of inventory. It's like finding the Chupacabra or Snipe, or coming face to jaw with a Liger! Seriously, it's a ridiculous number and we aren't too far from it. The housing market is fast moving here, almost difficult remembering a few years back when the tables were turned and buyers ruled the roost. So swings the pendulum of residential real estate. Regardless of the conditions, if you are selling or buying make certain you have the facts and make decisions based on them. Can't go wrong. The breakdown:   
    • Sales up 35% compared with July 2012 against 20% fewer listings 
    • Pending sales up 20% in the same period
    • Inventory at 2.8 months, 1.5 months less than July 2012 (a balanced market is at 6.5 months)
    • 26 consecutive months of higher sales 
    • Average of 41 days on the market, 23 days less than last year 
    Thank you Austin Board of REALTORS (ABoR) for the numbers. 

    2013 has reached halftime, which is the busiest time in the real estate world. Considering a move? Well, there isn't a better time to list your home for sale. Call me, I'll show you how. And if you are buying, call me - I'll show you how!

    Note: If you want more data or my thoughts on numbers, the market or more, please contact me directly. 
    Austin Area Numbers
    Austin Area Statistics
  • Why is Austin's drought good?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Austin, Home Buying in Austin, Home Selling in Austin  |  August 19, 2013 8:34 AM  |  636 views  |  No comments
    What goes up, must come down. Truth there, considering Austin had excess inventory as little as two years ago and now we are facing a housing drought. Homes for sale are down 22% with sales up 9% in the last year. Conversations in grocery store lines, at the gas station, parties, in the lunch line at Chipotle - everywhere - result in one common theme: Either the individual I'm speaking with is looking for a home and is frustrated or has a good friend, family member or colleague who is looking/frustrated. While it may seem like a complaint, it is not. This is a wonderful example of the health of the greater Austin area. Suburbs like Round Rock and Leander, Cedar Park and Buda, which sagged over the last 5-10 years, are doing really well. My belief is the inventory drought is creating a better root system for all of Austin and it is a badge of honor that our economy is so healthy. If you'd like a snapshot of the Austin real estate market and projections for the future, please ask - I have some great data from an economist showing it remains a great time to buy, even in a strong seller's market. On to the numbers...

    Sales data for June 2013, courtesy of the Real Estate Center:
    • 3,085 sales (2,837 in June 2012, 3,157 in May 2013)
    • $297,400 average sales price - $297,600 in May ($278,900 in June 2012)
    • $234,700 median sales price - $228,600 in May ($216,000 in June 2012)
    • 6,724 total active listings - 6,424 in May (8,641 in June 2012)
    • 2.9 months of inventory - 2.8 in May (4.5 in June 2012)
    Austin Area Sales Data - Real Estate Center at Texas A&M
  • Austin Mid-Year Market Stats : It's not Detroit

    Posted Under: General Area in Austin, Home Buying in Austin, Property Q&A in Austin  |  July 26, 2013 12:38 PM  |  724 views  |  No comments
    Want some facts? 60,000 plus people will move to the Austin area this year. This year and next, we will add more than 60,000 jobs. Total available units for sale and lease stand just above 30,000. There is a huge number of prospective buyers and tenants already established in Austin waiting for the opportunity to leave the nest - whether it's a family home or space share with friends. Is the delta impressive? Seriously, we don't have enough housing for all of the people in Austin. Contrast this with a city like Detroit, where bankruptcy was just declared, the population fell by about 1/3 over the past decade and there are a glut of homes for sale in the four figure range (that's less than $10,000, folks)! It's a good problem, here in Austin, and the builders will catch up eventually. 

    Sellers remain at a distinct advantage in Austin. Every good listing can expect 4 or 5 offers at a minimum. Buyers are getting more creative with the terms, as price is not negotiable. I've been very impressed with some of the terms offered on my listings and have been working like a mad man to think up ways to stand out from the pack with my buyers - and it's working! The personal letter is a standard now, so what's it take to jump to the front? How about offering to have the buyer qualify with the listing agent's preferred lender? I have more, if interested - give me a call or send an email and I'll share. Remember, the little things - the details - really matter now more than ever. And on both sides of the table - I still need to protect my sellers from the crazies and make certain they get the best deal for their unique needs. 

    For all buyers and sellers, please remember: Have a plan, engage in the process and remain calm. Here we go:   
    • Sales up 19% compared with June 2012 against 22% fewer listings 
    • Pending sales up 16% in the same period
    • Inventory at 2.9 months, 1.5 months less than June 2012 (a balanced market is at 6.5 months)
    • 25 consecutive months of higher sales 
    • Average of 43 days on the market, 16 days less than last year 
    Thank you Austin Board of REALTORS (ABoR) for the numbers. 

    2013 has reached halftime, which is the busiest time in the real estate world. Considering a move? Well, there isn't a better time to list your home for sale. Call me, I'll show you how. And if you are buying, call me - I'll show you how!

    Note: If you want more data or my thoughts on numbers, the market or more, please contact me directly. 
    Austin Real Estate - Market Numbers (ABOR)
    Austin Real Estate Market - June Statistics (ABOR)
  • Austin Market - May Numbers

    Posted Under: General Area in Austin, Home Buying in Austin, Home Selling in Austin  |  July 26, 2013 12:19 PM  |  723 views  |  No comments
    May numbers to whet the appetite for the June numbers and mid-year recap:  
    • Sales up 29% compared with May 2012 against 24% fewer listings 
    • Pending sales up 10% in the same period
    • Inventory at 2.7 months, 1.7 months less than May 2012 (a balanced market is at 6.5 months)
    • 24 consecutive months of higher sales 
    • Average of 44 days on the market, 19 days less than last year 
    Thank you Austin Board of REALTORS (ABoR) for the numbers. 

    2013 has reached halftime, which is the busiest time in the real estate world. Considering a move? Well, there isn't a better time to list your home for sale. Call me, I'll show you how. And if you are buying, call me - I'll show you how!

    Note: If you want more data or my thoughts on numbers, the market or more, please contact me directly. 
    ABOR May Numbers - Austin Real Estate

    ABOR May Statistics - Austin Real Estate
  • It's Emotional in Austin!

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Austin, Home Buying in Austin, Home Selling in Austin  |  June 5, 2013 2:15 PM  |  715 views  |  No comments
    Well, I've taken my sweet time updating my numbers over the past few (six!) months. Picking up the most recent data and sharing a couple of thoughts. Also, I've posted the highlights of the first quarter - broken down by month - in the event you are interested in looking at the progression.

    What's Austin's story? We've moved up in the world, now the 11th largest city in the U.S. Some news is about the same: We make just about every Top 10 list out there, from most desirable to jobs to lifestyle to... you get the point. Real estate? Emotional! Know what I mean? What do I mean? Buyers and sellers, tenants and landlords and all the professional parties are amped up. It's like the steroid era of baseball, lots of extremes. Such as the lowest inventory I can recall (think decade plus), accelerated sales, multiple offers redefined (3-4 was common in mid-2000s, now it's often 8-10) and more. Everyone is stressed, emotionally taxed. Sellers have ten visitors going through their homes each day, disrupting life. Buyers feel compelled to toss everything to the side and attack homes as they are newly listed for fear of missing out on "The One." Help, right? 

    Ok, that's the market. What's the approach? For sellers, it's an opportunity. And those of you thinking you'll sell without representation - think about money you are likely leaving on the table without the marketing savvy of a true pro. It's very common unless the seller is extremely familiar with the sales process and negotiation. And it doesn't hurt to consult an expert - you may like what you hear, worst case you stick to your original plan. 

    For buyers, the strategy is the same: Have a plan, engage in the process and remain calm. Patient buyers win. The goal is to find a home you will love for years - Austin averages 9 years of ownership. Imagine a panicked purchase and living with that for nearly a decade. Sobering, eh? Put in the effort, rely on highly skilled professional partners (broker, lender, priest - kidding!) and you will be rewarded. To the numbers...  
    • Sales up 32% compared with April 2012 against 25% fewer listings 
    • Pending sales up 20% in the same period
    • Inventory at 2.7 months, 1.3 months less than April 2012 (a balanced market is at 6.5 months)
    • 23 consecutive months of higher sales 
    • Average of 50 days on the market, 19 days less than last year 
    2013 has reached halftime, which is the busiest time in the real estate world. Considering a move? Well, there isn't a better time to list your home for sale. Call me, I'll show you how. And if you are buying, call me - I'll show you how!

    Note: If you want more data or my thoughts on numbers, the market or more, please contact me directly. 

    Thank you Austin Board of REALTORS (ABoR) for the numbers. 

    Austin Real Estate Sales Numbers
    Austin Real Estate Sales Statistics
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