Austin condo marketThe top end of the Austin condo market has been struggling. How are things in the lower half? You can also check out the single family home market at my previous post.

The charts here show the annual MLS condo sales volumes over the last few years to compare the top and bottom halves of the market. Things are more skewed here for the dividing price of $300,000, as the middle of the condo market is lower within the City of Austin.

Below $300,000 the proportion of listed condos that failed to sell (listings expired or withdrawn) peaked in 2008. The number of listings was higher in 2008 than 2007, while the number of sales has been dropping. So more failed to sell. Some of these are long term condo conversion projects whose listing expire and are then re-listed, but overall, the number of failed sales in 2009 was close to 49%. Compare that with 37% in 2007.

Austin condo marketIn the over $300,000 range, things seem pretty tight, though this represents less than a third of the condo market.

The portion of homes failing to sell was 77% in 2009.

Part of the reason for this over-supply was a lack of demand. FHA regulations became tough. Lenders became leary about lending on condos and guidelines for condo projects became more stringent, and down payment requirements larger.

Some condo projects have stalled, and there are notable high-profile auctions of condos, for example those at Sabine on Fifth, coming up at the end of February.

So for those well-qualified buyers who have high downpayments, or can buy with cash, it’s certainly been a buyer’s market. For those sellers in the lower half of the market who haven’t been in an FHA approved project, things have been tough.

It’s unclear how the lending regulations pertaining to condos are going to change in 2010, but it could be a bumpy ride for sellers.
An Austin Realtor is a Realtor with Sherlock Homes Austin. Call on 512 215 4785 to find out what your part of the Austin market is doing.

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