The INHABIT INDEX for November 2007

17 01 2008

Inhabit Index for November 2007

The November 2007 stats have finally arrived—a year later. The stats were delayed for nearly a month due to a recent overhaul of the MLS software by the Austin Board of Realtors. The transition to the new MLS has been anything but smooth, so hopefully the December stats will arrive on time and I can share my December index early next week.

The index for the greater Austin market decreased by 5 percentage points from October to November. Remember, this graph is a high level view of the broader market. Below you’ll find a more local view and be able to discern if particular MLS areas are in a buyer’s or seller’s market.  November’s shift to 16% suggests market conditions have become more and more favorable to many Austin buyers. This is due to a large supply of active listings on the market and mortgage interest rates below 6%—though today’s report on core inflation will likely cause mortgage rates to increase in the days ahead.

Here’s the break down by MLS areas.

Related Post :: The INHABIT INDEX: How to Know When It’s a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market.

At the end of November there were only 6 areas within the Austin market that were still showing signs of a seller’s market. Most of these are suburban areas, with the exception of area 7, which includes Barton Hills neighborhood.  This is down from 12 areas in October. Even still, some make the case that a rate of sale (Inhabit Index) between 30 to 20 percent would favor the seller. This may be in certain neighborhoods, but anywhere in 30 to 20 range I consider a soft-seller’s market at the very best. Buyers are more likely to win concessions when negotiating in those areas.

However, it always comes back to the motivation of both the buyer and the seller; even in a buyer’s market an unmotivated seller trying to hold out for the right offer can be difficult to budge on the terms—especially since prices in Austin are stable and even increasing in many areas.

But I don’t expect many of those sellers to be in the market much longer as there are a lot more expired and withdrawn listings now than earlier in 2007. Yet for the long-term health of the real estate market, I hope the small percentage of current sellers that have been languishing on the market are motivated more by greed than an absence of equity. Time will surely tell, so check back for my next market conditions update.

Austin Area Map

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