Monday, March 23rd – Austin Metro Area Real Estate Update
Current Austin Metro Area Inventory
552 new homes emerged on the market in the past 7 days
381 homes went under contract in the past 7 days
253 homes sold and closed this past 7 days
Buyer Tours & Open Houses
The Austin MLS eliminated the Open House feature on all listings last week discouraging agents from holding open houses. The Agent Jill Team has moved to virtual & 3D tours offering agents and buyers online solution to preview and explore homes from a safe distance. Agents using these online systems are seeing success and strong buyer activity.
Rates continue to fluctuate day to day, even hour by hour. Higher rates are being reported right now for refinances in an effort to discourage the unprecedented high volume of requests.
As of noon on Monday rates were resting at 3.5% for a 30 year Conventional loan and 2.75-3.0% for a 15 year conventional. Refinance rates are close to 4%.
In speaking with our preferred lenders they continue to communicate that they expect rates to lower in the coming weeks and to reach out to them with questions about refinancing but be patient with them during this busy time.
News broke Friday that payments may be deferred as coronavirus pandemic causes worker hardships. Call your mortgage provider to inquire about their options. IMPORTANT: My preferred lenders have told me that when checking into mortgage relief programs make sure and ask: “Will this program impact my credit in any way.?” Some lenders will report the mortgage as: “Settled for less than the full amount.” Make sure you ask to protect yourself against any barrier to borrowing when this is all over.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON is the theme right now in Austin real estate. We are still seeing much of the same bustling activity that we always do in Spring – except now with hand sanitizer and safety precautions – because a) people need homes, b) Austin is popular, c) interest rates are low and d) life circumstances don’t stop for a virus.
Austin real estate analyst Mark Sprague has been sharing some important reminders as we consider the long term forecast for the area.
“In 2011 Austin led the nation in recovery with the shortest stint of the top 50 metros in recession. The main lesson is that Austin and Texas economically turned quicker than the rest of the country after the last crisis. Why? Because we did not have the amount of speculation or financial leverage that so many markets had.”
“Presently, the Austin economy continues to be based strongly on technology, higher learning, and state government with multiple other channels contributing. That’s important, because many of the metros that experienced the economic crisis were dependent on one or two industries as well as highly leveraged financing. Highly leveraged financing has gone away, and the Austin Chamber’s focus on recruiting multiple segments of industry should help tremendously. Good news is that most of the Texas metro economies have been leading the nation. Presently they do not have enough real estate inventory. Sales continue to be robust comparatively. So far, 2020 sales and real estate values are remaining strong and should remain that way throughout 2020.”
“Austin has been blessed in leading the nation in so many ways. That has placed stress on the lack of real estate inventory in multiple channels. At this point, sales have not shown any slowing. I do think the strength of the current economy will bode well for when we emerge on the other side of this crisis. So no, I would be surprised if we had 180+ days of negative growth after the crisis.”
An ordinance like Dallas County enacted March 22 could potentially alter the way we handle our real estate timelines and transactions. The Agent Jill Team is tracking City of Austin news hourly and the possibility of this restriction in our area. Our sources at the Austin Board of Realtors are also keeping us informed. We will pass any updates along as news becomes available and of course continue to share the inside scene of the effects these measures may create in our community.
Texas Real Estate Commission COVID-19 Addendum Release
Last week the attorneys for the Texas Real Estate Commission released a new COVID-19 Addendum that provides protection for buyers and sellers from unexpected consequences relating to this novel coronavirus. With cities and counties issuing shelter-in-place orders some title companies and lenders are not able to meet contract deadlines and so this addendum provides additional options to extend closings and meet other contractual obligations related to COVID-19 circumstances.
Agent Jill Team COVID-19 Procedures Review
On Friday we announced our new COVID-19 procedures for buyers and sellers online. To learn more about what the Agent Jill Team is doing to support clients and customers right now visit https://www.agentjill.com/2020/03/18/covid-19-update/
JUDGE ORDERS LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE BACK TO REWRITE
Last week Community Impact reported that Judge Jan Soifer said the city violated state law by not notifying individual property owners. City council had already halted all plans for a rewrite of the land draft so they could focus all attention on navigating the city through the COVID-19 crisis. To read the full report from Community Impact https://communityimpact.com/austin/na/housing-real-estate/2020/03/18/judge-sends-austins-land-code-rewrite-back-to-square-one-austin-city-council-member-this-is-the-least-of-our-worries-right-now/