If you’re in two minds whether to buy a single or multiple story home here in Austin, you might want to consider some interesting statistics that I unearthed while I was researching home sales in the Multiple Listing System (MLS) for a client yesterday. They had asked – what sells faster, single story homes or two story?
Experience told me that single story homes move quicker on the market, and all sorts of generalizations about aging population came to mind, but I wanted to present some data to back up my gut feeling. So I went to the MLS to back things up with data.
I was comparing the time for single family homes in Austin to sell in the last five years. I only went back this far as the data gets sketchier the further you go back. By and large, single story homes are priced higher per square foot than multiple story homes. Initial construction costs tend to be higher as there is additional foundation, roof and lot requirements for a single story home. So you might expect that the higher priced homes may not sell as quickly as the lower price per square foot multiple story homes
What I found in general was that single story homes sell quicker – less time on the market in Austin than multiple story homes.
I then decided to see if there was anything that might change if instead of looking at how many stories a home had, whether or not the home had a master bedroom on the main floor. My reasoning was that the master bedroom is surely one of the rooms in the house that is occupied more than the others.
In this chart, I looked at market times for houses in Austin that had a ground floor bedroom (single or multiple story) versus a multiple story home with a master on a separate floor.
Again houses with a master down sold faster than houses that didn’t. There could be a few different reasons for this, and here is one hypothesis: the population of Texas is aging, and more seniors are relocating to Austin looking for single story or master bedroom down homes.
One article I read recently had this interesting demographic chart:
I know that Austin has a “young population” right now. Travis county has a median resident age of 31 versus a Texas median age of 41, so by and large, we’re a sprightly bunch. But guess what? People keep moving here, and as the chart for the whole of Texas shows, more of the senior generation will be coming here. And sometimes, stairs are not on the cards for people and their long term planning.