Austin Home Sales Predictions for 2016

New yearsThe market is on the move with no signs of slowing down as we settle into 2016 and look at Austin home sales. The Fed did raise interest rates as expected. With the economy well on the mend, additional upticks are on the horizon as interest rates slowly drift to normal levels. The interest rate always affects the housing market because it taps into buying power. Interest is part of the monthly mortgage payment. Higher rates mean a higher payment, which affects debt-to-income ratio.

Austin Home Sales Predictions 2016 and Housing Demand

Historically, rising interest rates generally decrease home prices because buyers can afford less; but it can also create an immediate demand. Buyers want to lock into mortgages when they know rates will be increasing.

In Austin, the demand for housing was already high without the rate increase. I expect increasing rates will only create more motivation to buy a home. says Austin-Round Rock will be the fifth most sought out city for 25- to 34-year-olds looking to purchase a home.

As long as the demand is high and inventory is low, housing prices in Austin will continue to rise.  There is currently about 2.6 months of single-family home inventory in Austin for sale.

The Reality of Remodeling

remodel HGTV is powerful. I cannot even begin to tell you how many homeowners I speak to who got an idea to attempt a do-it-yourself project as a result of watching a home makeover show. If you are chuckling on the inside, it may be because you are one of them. I use the word ‘attempt’, because while these shows inspire and educate, they also tend to make projects seem simpler than they are.

Reality TV Shows vs. Remodeling in the Real World

Remember, it’s an 10 hour project shown in 30 minutes. TV shows have the power to edit and often have a team completing the handiwork behind the scenes. It’s a reality show, just like any other.  I laugh on the inside and try not to show my angst on the outside when I go on a listing appointment with those who lost their drive on a remodel. The results range from unfinished faux painted walls, tile put in place that was never grouted and crown molding that doesn’t completely go around the ceiling. All of these unfinished projects are going to affect the sales price of your home.

It is easier to sell a dated home that is fully functioning and completed, than a home that seems to stop mid sentence. To a buyer, the project needs to be finished. I often have to change the perception of the seller, to see these things with buyers’ eyes, because after a while the seller doesn’t see the projects anymore. They have been living with them for so long; they just tend to blend into the background.

Do-it-yourself Projects

Many home supply stores offer classes on do-it-yourself projects. I often recommend someone take one before making a decision to start a project. We are all good at something, but certainly not good at everything. Have a reality check with yourself when you are watching those reality shows. Get a real education on what’s involved with a do-it-yourself project, before you begin one.

711 E 50th Street, Austin TX 78751

711 E 50th Street

711 E 50th Street

Hyde Park duplex listing in Central Austin. It is conveniently located between The Triangle and Mueller, just 3 miles North of UT. The floor plan and location may appeal to owner occupant, mother-daughter or roommates.

Hyde Park Location

Both units feature hardwood floors, with separate utilities for gas and electric. Each unit has its own utility room washers and dryers. The property is set on a large lot and tree-lined street. Unit A is a 2 bedroom / 2 bath, unit B is a 1 bedroom 1 bath. The house was built in 1950. It is 1,789 square feet (appraiser).

  • Single Story
  • Space for multiple car parking
  • Storage sheds convey
  • Refrigerators, washers and dyers convey
  • List Price:  $415,000

What kind of a home are you?

bungalowThey say you are what you eat.  What kind of home you purchase can say something about you as well.  Austin is known for being weird.  The eclectic mix of politics, religion and style are as unique as the tastes in architecture, landscaping and design of Austinites who call this city home. There is quite a mix of homes for sale in Austin.

Homes for Sale in Austin offer a unique blend of vintage and modern designs

I have a client looking in South Central Austin right now, specifically in zip code 78704. We have discussed how you can just turn a corner and be in a different neighborhood with a completely different vibe.  I’ve had clients in the past who refer to master planned communities as ‘Disney Word’, because all of the homes conform to the same aesthetic tone. Other neighborhoods here look like something out of storybook with bungalow style homes and lemonade porches.

Bungalow Homes for Traditional Buyers in Austin

I have found, more often than not, that who you are, as a buyer, has a lot to do with what type of home you pick.  Buyers who like antiques, nostalgia or tend to like structure, tend to like colonial and bungalow style homes.  These buyers don’t care if the floors creek, have no finish and are original from the 1940’s.  To them, the floors as real wood and they appreciate the history and authenticity they represent.  These traditional buyers also like defined rooms. They like a formal dining room, separate from the kitchen and other rooms, because to them every room has a unique purpose and therefore should have a unique identity, which may simply mean a different paint color.

Dated homes ready for a remodel attract creative types in Austin

Unlike traditional, progressive buyers roll with the times.  In my experience these buyers tend to be creative, artist types who don’t always look at a house for what it is… but rather what it could be.  These buyers are deciding what walls they are knocking down and how they are going to expand the kitchen.  These are the dreamers who know very well they may never get to every project they envision, but see the potential and possibility.

Modern Austin homes for buyers who think out of the box

Lastly, modern buyers are similar to progressive type, but have a flare for drama.  These buyers are drawn to open floor plans and like mid-century, contemporary and modern design.  They feel boxed in with too many walls.  They like vaulted ceilings with a uniform tone between living areas.  To some people, these homes look like office buildings, but to modern home buyers, they are dramatic and unique – a work of art in their own right.

The funny thing is that you typically don’t like what you grew up with.  For example, I grew up in a mid-century modern single story home, but my brother, sister and I have always lived in 2-story traditional homes.  I find this to be the case with more of my buyers than not.  Maybe it’s the rebel in us or simply that we know deep down change is good.