economy
1:20 pm
Wed April 20, 2011

Fewer Homes Sold Last Month, But Median Price Was Up

Ten percent fewer Austin homes were sold in March 2011 compared to March of last year, according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report issued today by the Austin Board of Realtors. But the median price was up two percent to $185,260.

An $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers that expired in 2010 is still making it harder to compare numbers now with numbers then, according to Austin Board of Realtors chair Judith Bundschuh.

“Like all of 2011 thus far, we must recognize that month-to-month comparisons are still being influenced by the impact of last year’s homebuyer tax credits. Thus, fluctuations in sales volume and listings compared to last year are to be expected," Bundschuh said in a statement.

Bundschuh says the relative price stability in residential home sales, amid large fluctuations in the number of homes sold, indicates long-term strength for the local housing market.

There are also indications that Austin's office market is poised for growth, the Austin Business Journal reported this morning.

Already this month, the Austin office market has seen more positive absorption than all of 2010. [Austin’s Oxford Commercial Senior Vice President Rhonda] Toming said Austin has about 10 or 11 deals that recently closed or are slated to close in the next 90 days.

Another first quarter report from real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle corroborated Toming's findings. “Although it is not quiet visible on paper, the Austin office market is changing,” it said. “Certain submarkets are very close to making the transition from a tenants market to a landlord’s market.”

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