The Texas Association of Realtors has just published their annual report on the Condominium sales statistics in the state of Texas, and the results are interesting for Austin. While other areas in the state experienced modest gains (3% gain in Dallas, 6% gain in San Antonio) or losses 1% loss in Houston) in terms of overall sales, Austin Condo Sales dropped by 12% when compared to the same time period last year.
In terms of the average value of condos sold in Austin, the average sale price and the price per square foot both increased by 9%. The average time spent on the market also dropped by 8% to an average of 43 days from listing to sale, all numbers that indicate that demand is still strong despite fewer sales.
The report states that condo sales are declining slightly state-wide at a pace that matches with the rest of the Texas real estate market. An additional point it goes on to make is that while median prices for condos are lower than for single family detached homes, the price per square foot for condos and townhomes is significantly higher ($222 per square foot in Austin), meaning that first time home buyers are getting significantly less bang for their buck than buyers who are capable of stretching for a house of their own.
In addition, the price levels for new construction condominiums are getting to a point where they are nearly out of reach for newcomers to the market, meaning that older multi-family units like condos and townhomes are in much higher demand. This has led to lower inventory levels for older condos, and it's a factor that is probably ultimately responsible for the decrease in time that an Austin Area condo spends on the market.
So what does this mean for the Austin Market? Affordability is definitely a concern in today's Austin real estate, and a downturn in total sales, despite there being no corresponding dip in demand, might be the first sign of the condo market correcting itself. Only time will tell at this point whether sales numbers rally back to keep pace with the rest of the market factors, or if price and time on market sag as well.
The full report, with all of it's statistics for Dallas, Houstom, and San Antonio in addition to Austn's details can be found here.