Austin Housing Market: Why Fall and Winter are still a good time to Buy or Sell

I must admit, I have been pretty fortunate to be in Austin Tx (and specifically Real Estate since 2008). While my career definitely started slow, it has only continued to grow and so has this city.

While we aren’t through with October, our company alone is showing October to actually surpass September, this is unusual for this time of year, but hey, it’s Austin and the market is still hot.

October is here (how the hell is it already October?!) and usually there is lots of talk of the market “slowing down” and Summer and Spring being the best months to buy or sell, but actually, some of my better months in history have been December and even this month has shaped up nicely for me (as it definitely picked up after school was back in session for September, which equates to October closings). Hashtag blessed.

So here is my rainy day blog post of why you should not be discouraged to buy or sell this time of year.

Top Reasons To Buy In the Fall/Winter:

1. While there is less inventory, there are also more sellers who NEED to sell vs WANT to sell (unlike Spring and Summer months, which are often times linked to school schedule). This often equates to lower home prices/more desperate sellers who are willing to negotiate.

2. Despite national statistics of slow down, Austin still remains a steady and strong market due to all the companies moving here and the tech industry flourishing–>specifically in NW Austin. If you follow commercial trends (which is backed by tons of research and data) residential isn’t too far behind that trend.

Here is a really great article on Texas home sales

Here is one about the lack of affordability in Austin (unfortunate but true) vote for Prop A people!! We need more affordable housing or else we may turn into the next San Fran and have a huge problem.

Austin housing prices up…read more Here.

An article on the perks of condo ownership here.

I have many repeat clients who have already bought and sold with me in the last four years. One thing I hear the most is: “I wish we would have bought in—insert a few years prior–” Because it is no surprise that when you take care of your investment, make a few upgrades and stay put in Austin, you can bank on this market’s valuing higher.

3. Have you ever moved in Texas…in August?! It’s pretty terrible. The heat, the sweat dripping down your back as you lift heavy boxes and clean your place that already had the AC turned off (because you thought it would take you less time to move and you’d already be out) and all your friends are on the lake as you move with the two sketchy moving guys you hired. If moving in the summer isn’t reason enough in this heat, I don’t know what is. Ha.

4. Builder Incentives-Lots of new construction is being built in Austin. Many times at this time of year (and any time approaching end of quarter or monthly goals) incentives are offered–allowances, bonuses, design credit, paying title policy, money toward closing costs etc.

It is a crazy time of year–the holidays, between parties and hosting family and vacations, but if you can squeeze in a move around the holidays, it can sometimes be well worth it the wait!

**Also, if you don’t like your family you can just tell them you are busy with the move and such and cannot host or meet up this year (just a thought)**

Another perk–Tax values are in (October) so you won’t have any crazy surprises when your tax bill comes due for the entire year in December, because they won’t be based off the year prior’s estimates.

5. Interest rates!!! Yes they keep climbing and are projected to be in the 5s next year (2019). This makes a dramatic difference in your monthly payment. I experienced this situation this year as I bought another home, there is a big difference between 3.6% and 4.75% per month!! So, while it may seem like you want to wait and save more, sometimes the cost to waiting evens out as interest rates increase-remember that.

Top Reasons to Sell in the Fall/Winter:

1. Less competition. At times in Spring and Summer there are more homes in your neighborhood for sale. The funny part of this seller’s market is that it is actually a VERY savvy buyer’s market. Buyers know exactly what they are willing to pay for a home and first impressions (and of course price) are everything. I have often had a buyer see five homes in a neighborhood, lose out on their number 1 choice, then keep looking (instead of going back to their #2 pick which also met all their criteria) it is easier for your home to get lost in a market with competition. When buyers have less to choose from, they tend to be more happy about the find.

2. See reason 3 above. Because moving sucks in the Summer.

3. I have found February and January pretty awesome times to list because the new year has begun, holidays are over, people are on the hunt, and while listings definitely increase in March–there are still people ready to buy in February! Also it tends to start warming up a bit, so there are still opportunities to have the yard looking great before Spring if officially here.

4. Austin over the years keeps attracting many out of state buyers. These winter birds love our weather come October (after the ACL buzz) and then some. If you especially have a hill country/unique property it could be a great time to sell your second home or special property.

5. 1031 Exchange–> for those of you looking to take advantage of taxes and transfer a property and avoid paying capital gains, a 1031 could be a great way to find a deal but also transfer the property over, you usually have about 60 days to do this. (If you’d like to talk to a professional about this over your options, reach out, I know a great guy for this!)