REALTOR® Reports First Dip in Austin Home Prices in 2008

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Austin REALTOR® Brian Talley reports on the first overall monthly price decline in Austin since the beginning of 2008 in his August 2008 monthly Austin Texas real estate report. Sourcing information provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Brian offers a broad perspective of the current real estate market by highlighting relevant historical data and market trends.

Since the market peak in the year 2000 home prices have increased 27% from $90 per square foot to over $122 per square foot in 2008, which includes the fallout from the current market woes.

Austin real estate home prices have decreased slightly by just less than 1% in August 2008 compared to August 2007. This is the first Austin-wide price decrease recorded by Regent Property Group during a month in 2008. While Austin home prices have decreased slightly in August, home prices are still up 2% for the year.

"Although it is natural for consumers to get nervous about price declines in the Austin housing market, the fact remains that Austin real estate prices remain robust." says Brian Talley the founder of Regent Property Group. "Since the market peak in the year 2000 home prices have increased 27% from $90 per square foot to over $122 per square foot in 2008, which includes the fallout from the current market woes." reports Brian Talley.

The negative impact on the Austin real estate market is mostly with the number of homes sold, which is at virtually the same level seen at the bottom of the market in 2001. So far this year 6,181 homes were sold in Austin. Between January 1 and August 31, there were 6,113 homes sold in 2001 and 8,022 homes sold in 2007. That is a 23% decline in the number of homes sold this year compared to 2007 and a meager 1% increase compared to 2001.

While home sales have been cooling off, the rental market in Austin has been heating up. For the month of August 2008, lease prices are up 13% compared to August 2007. The number of homes leased in Austin has increased 2% and prices are up 7% for the year when comparing 2008 to 2007.

So what is the most likely cause of the phenomenon of lower sales volume yet robust sales prices and increasing rental rates? "With the mortgage crisis, fewer buyers can afford to purchase a home and are therefore being forced to rent. Many homeowners have chosen to pull their homes off the market rather than lower their sales price. With the strong economy over the last 5 years many homeowners have been able to wait things out with the hope that the market will improve by next summer," according to Brian Talley.

Brian Talley believes that the current real estate market in Austin presents opportunities for both buyers and sellers. "While homeowners may need to take less to get their home sold, prices are still way up. Rather than wait to see if the market gets better, consider selling now at a competitive price but be sure to take an aggressive approach on your purchase to find a good deal. If a homeowner has owned their home for more than 2 years, the chances are they will still profit on the sale. Furthermore, the aggressive buyer can often find a good deal on a purchase if they are willing to take their time. Selling competitively and buying aggressively can allow many homeowners to make their move without incurring losses - in fact many will still take gains on their sale in addition to getting a deal on their purchase," concludes Brian Talley.

More information about current Austin real estate market statistics can be found at the following link: Austin Market Statistics. Home buyers can conduct a free on-line property search by visiting the following link: Austin Home Search.

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