I’ve been watching “Sold” transactions in MLS by week, with my criteria as City=Austin, looking only at houses. Last week’s divergence from the 2019 trend on “Solds” was significant (-40%). A few comments:
- I don’t normally track by week, just month, but I think that WK13 is likely a big spike as people return from Spring Break and transactions close
- WK12 this year was higher than last year (+67% in luxury price range), which might suggest buyers that would have been gone for Spring Break went ahead and closed that week as they had cancelled their travel plans (that is a big assumption since that implies buyer and seller could both support that logistically)
- And that does not explain WK10 being up 100% in the luxury price range, so coming up with a narrative that explains it all is challenging, nevertheless…
- WK13 may provide an indication of reactions to the pandemic starting to impact buyers and some attrition as people react to uncertainty and terminate
Note: the number on the x-axis is the week of the year, not the day of the month. So 13 = WK13 = 3/22/20 – 3/28/20
Austin Overall (all price points):
I also broke out between “luxury” and non-luxury, using 750K as my cut-off.
Under 750K: -40% vs. same week last year:
Over 750K (luxury): -37% vs. same week last year (but as noted above, WK12 was +67%)
If I look at the month of March as a whole, though, transactions are down -10% vs. 2019 the same time period, and -13% in the sub-750K price points, but still +8% in the luxury price points (due to strong solds earlier in the month).
This is still an unfolding story and we are still very early in it, so I will continue to monitor and update as new information becomes available so you have some insight into the impact to the real estate market.
A word of encouragement, though… Austin is a very strong market and still a very desirable place to live. When we turn the corner, Austin is well-positioned to bounce back, probably faster than most areas of the country.