The Best Time to Buy a House in Steiner Ranch was Yesterday!
This statement continues to be true in Steiner Ranch and all over Austin. Things are not slowing down. In February of 2021, the average sales price in 78732 was $863,420. The average price for February 2022 was $1,412,861! Last February, the average interest rate was 2.81% vs. 3.76% this year.
When numbers dipped November 2021 through January 2022, many thought this was the beginning of the slow down or the “bursting of the bubble,” but as I predicted, with most of the ibuyer inventory cleared out (Zillow, OpenDoor, etc..) we saw the available inventory drop considerably in February. We had 22 new listings in February (down 26% from February 2021) and 22 went pending, most in under 10 days. This brought our average sales price to original list price back up over 100 to 103%, up 6% from January.
Cash buyers represented half of our sales last month again. This tells me things aren’t slowing down any time soon despite interest rates creeping up.
The most common question I get these days is “Are we in a bubble?” Things are going to have to slow down at some point but I do not believe we sill see a bubble “burst.” According to Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital for Independence Title, “Austin and most of our Texas metros currently have a greater demand than supply, fueled by solid job creation, low rates, and comparatively (to the national markets we compete against) undervalued housing.” You can read his full article here, but basically, he says that rising values over historical norms do not mean we are in a bubble. Other factors contribute to a bubble that aren’t present in our market.
So if you’ve been trying and trying to buy and keep losing out to other people, keep in mind that the comps you’re looking at to make your offer decisions are old by the time they are public. You have to be working with an agent who knows the pending prices and also what’s happening off-market. And, given that half of the buyers are using cash, if you’re not working with a local lender who will put you through underwriting prior to being under contract, you likely don’t stand a chance.
It’s also imperative to have a buyer’s agent who is well connected and credible. When there are several similar offers, sellers don’t want to risk the deal imploding due to an inexperienced or untrustworthy agent on the other side, so it often comes down to who is the buyer’s agent and what is their track record? I won a multiple offer situation in Steiner Ranch for buyers last month when we weren’t the highest offer because the two higher offers were written by agents who didn’t seem competent, one of them didn’t even seem to know his own client.
If history repeats itself, we will see more inventory after Spring Break, but when we compare that with the “months of inventory” metric, we see that the number of buyers goes up also, so it doesn’t get any easier to buy.
Having gotten all of my Steiner buyers under contract, I am taking on a few more for spring. And I’m always taking on new sellers.
To make an appointment to talk about your goals and see if we are a good fit, click here to schedule.