Inhabit Index for January 2008

27 02 2008

Looking back at January, the index rose 5 percentage points to 15%. Current market conditions are still favoring buyers throughout the Austin metro area.  The inventory of homes on the market has grown to nearly 7 months; I expect a further increase as we approach the heat of the selling season. The good news is that new construction starts are down, which should help mitigate an oversupply.

So if my prediction for a growing inventory holds true, any future increase would give Austin buyers a larger pool of homes from which to choose. Advantage buyer. However, knowing that, many buyers and sellers are waiting it out in anticipation of such a development. I wouldn’t advise either side to continue with such a strategy.

Ok. I know what you’re thinking. But before you pass that last sentence off as biased-Realtor fodder, you might want to seriously consider it, lest you find yourself in this scenario put forth in a recent Time magazine article.

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The Inhabit Index for 2007

6 02 2008
December 2007 Inhabit Index

The December numbers are in and the Inhabit Index should be back on schedule with the upcoming review of January. Looking back at 2007 we cleary saw a Seller’s market from January towards the end of July.  By October and November, the overall market creeped into the buyer’s territory.

Hindsight is particularly revealing when it comes to trends; because if you notice on the index, the market began its shift in early spring of 2007. This points to the degree of difficulty—and in my view the impossibilty—of timing the real estate market since most analysts rely on historical data. That is not to say, you can’t forecast and make predictions about what’s ahead, but the exact timing of it all is purely speculative and can drive you crazy if you let it.

During the spring and even late into last summer multiple offers were quite common throughout the city. Some homes were selling for more than list price, and in certain neighborhoods, they were sold within a week on the market—my personal best came in August with a listing under contract within 16 hours of putting it on the market. So, even in August the market was shifting, but not many took notice—and even still, they may not have believed the numbers if the were paying attention to the index. Homes were selling, and very quickly.

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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.

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