Housing is supposed to be in recovery, right? Here’s what the Austin American-Statesman has to say about the Austin, TX real estate market:
In its best November showing in five years, the Central Texas housing market saw sales of existing homes soar 23 percent last month, compared with the same month last year, the Austin Board of Realtors said Thursday. The area’s median sales price rose 7 percent to $200,000.
Defying the usual seasonal slowdown, 1,671 homes were sold last month compared with 1,354 in November 2011, the Board of Realtors said. It was the 18th consecutive month of year-over-year sales volume increases, and the area’s most home sales in November since 2007, the board said. Nationally, home sales were up 5.9 percent in November over the same month last year.
The Texas A&M Real Estate Center is reporting the inventory has dropped and there is now only a 3.1 month’s supply of homes on the market.
If you assume that numbers don’t lie, then things are looking great. When I talk to local agents, however, there is not universal accord that all is well in Austin. Then there’s also the case of this house:
This housing is in my Dripping Springs neighborhood. Dripping Springs is just west of Austin.
Just over two years ago the folks that lived in this house picked up and left. The house was never listed for sale. A few months later when the yard started to look bad some landscapers showed up to clean the yard up. (If you think the picture is sad now, you should have seen it then.) I spoke with the guys as they were removing the debris, and the confirmed that they were working for the lender.
This is a nice custom neighborhood. Homes in here range from around $250K up to the $700s. I often walk by this property with my dog and ask myself,
“If the market is all that hot, why, after more than two years, has this lender chosen not to put this home on the market?”