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Rob Albertson's Blog

By Rob Albertson | Agent in Austin, TX

78704 Real Estate Statistics Thru May 2012

78704 Real Estate Statistics Thru May 2012

78704 is easily Austin's most famous zip code, & not only because I live here.  It's also been one of the most active & popular this year on the real estate front, as the market data will attest.

The way we compile the market data for 78704 is in 2 halves - one side (known as MLS Area 6) is east of the train tracks & includes the neighborhoods of Bouldin, Galindo, Travis Heights, Dawson, & St Edwards.  The other side (MLS Area 7) is west of the tracks & includes Zilker, Barton Hills, & South Lamar.  The tracks also act as a pretty significant school divide line with east of the track for Travis High & west headed to Austin High.

So let's start looking at what's happening east:

Summary of MLS Area 6, 78704, May 2012

What's most interesting is the strong demand and low supply compared to 2011 resulting in significant price increases.  The demand is measured in the number of closed sales which is up 31% year to date while supply is measured in available inventory (down 46% for single family homes and 40% for condos.)  Year to date, the median sales price is up over 20%.  But this is just as compared to last year, which was a softer year in Austin real estate.  Looking at historical price increases is a bit more telling as to what sort of market we're in:

Median Prices for 78704, May 2012

What this shows is a pretty severe market correction given the up & down years since 2008.  It's hard to fathom that the growth will sustain at this rate, and some leveling-off seems inevitable.  But given the continued demand and low supply, I suspect prices will remain on the rise through summer.

So how are things going to our neighbors west of the tracks in Area 7?

Market Stats for 78704 MLS Area 7 May 2012

As with Area 6, demand is solid while supply is low, leading to significant price increases.  The demand, or closed sales is on pace with last year, while the inventory levels have fallen off a cliff with only 15 available single family properties (down 58% from last year) and 24 condos (down 33%.)  I believe the sales numbers would be higher if buyers had more to choose from, with many getting frustrated and opting for other, less popular, parts of Austin.

As far as the historical pricing goes:

Median Pricing for 78704 MLS 7, May 2012

We see much of the same pattern as to Area 6, with a significant market correction occurring as we speak.  With Area 7 being a smaller sample set (fewer houses), these numbers tend to be a bit more volatile.


So long as downtown Austin doesn't move north or the breakfast taco somehow falls out of fashion, 78704 remains a safe bet - both in the near & long term.  If you're looking to buy, expect a lot of competition and potential multiple offer situations (hint: start taking Rescue Remedy now).  While projects such as the Denizen 04 will be coming on-line later in the year to help with inventory levels, it may not be enough to keep up with the population increases.

As a 78704 seller, the question is to sell now or wait a bit longer...if you are finally ready to cash in your chips & move to Circle C, you can certainly expect a good price and a lot of buyer interest.

Rob Albertson is an Austin Realtor and has been a proud South Austinite for over 11 years.    He specializes in Austin Real Estate for Austin Fine Properties, a Private Label Realty Company, and can be reached at 512.653.8939 or rob@austinfineproperties.com.

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