Inventory – Number of Sales
“Low Inventory” was all I heard in 2020-2022 but 2023 was the year we actually had low inventory! Previously, it was just extra high demand making it seem like inventory was low.
Only 181 properties sold in 78732 in 2023, a 20% reduction from 2022, but almost half as many as 2020 and 2021. Sales volume was down 52% from 2022. Both of these numbers lag behind central Austin, which only saw about a 28% reduction in sales numbers and volume.
Fewer people listed their homes this year because of the “golden handcuff” effect. Many homeowners currently have mortgages locked in under 4% and have lower property taxes due to having a homestead exemption for many years. These are hard things to give up unless a move is absolutely necessary.
Average Price Point
The under $500,000 range held on one more year. There was only ONE sale under $500,000 in 2023, same as 2022, but down from 11 in 2021and 109 in 2020. The number of homes over a million went down from 44% in 2022 to 34% in 2023. The average sold price in 78732 decreased 18% in 2023.
List Price to Sales Price Ratio
In 2023, the average sale price to original list price was 93.44%, while the sale price to list price at the time it went pending was 97.36%. 97.36% is a great ratio, but these two numbers tell me that on average, most homes were originally priced about 4% too high to generate an offer.
We continued to see a lot of cash buyers this year. Typically, these are out of state buyers or investors, but this year I saw a lot of people downsizing and using their proceeds to buy with cash. Seven months of 2023 saw 20% or more of the sales go to cash buyers.
2023 – The Good and the Bad
2023 brought back the need for a lot of things that were lacking in 2020-2022 – skill, experience, marketing, staging, and listing preparation! These will be key for selling in 2024. You MUST declutter and deep clean. Gone are the days of quick offers on homes with filthy grout, black sidewalks, and worn carpet. Pride of ownership is important again. Deferred maintenance will cost you.
You also MUST have an experienced agent working for you. Thousands of people got their real estate licenses between 2019 and 2023 and they have NO IDEA how to work a deal or negotiate in a more normal market. Choose wisely for maximum returns. Most people choose their agent on marketing alone when experience, skill and market and contractual knowledge are even more important.
The biggest headaches of 2023 were roofs needing replacement (we had a hailstorm in June, if you are considering selling, have it checked NOW!) and recently recalled Kitec plumbing found in some Steiner homes.
Expectations for 2024 – Where are we headed?
I think there are going to be a lot of disappointed people in 2024 who didn’t take advantage of the less competitive market in 2023. When the market was HOT in 2020 and 2021, so many buyers said they were going to wait until things cooled off to buy. Well, they cooled off and many said they were going to wait again for rates to drop then they would buy…these two things are related. After reaching their highest point in October, rates have dropped over a full per cent and are expected to continue dropping. We are already seeing increased demand and by spring break (which is in only 60 days!) I expect us to start seeing the “months of inventory” metric go down again and multiple offers will become common again.
Pool homes will continue to be in high demand. The cost of putting in a pool has almost doubled since Covid and has made homes with existing pools more valuable than ever before. At the same time, fewer pool homes have been coming on the market. In 2023, only 64 homes in 78732 were listed with a pool compared to 70 in 2022 and 108 and 109 in 2021 and 2020, respectively.
After going up in 2022, rent prices in 78732 came down in 2023 and they took longer to lease. This can be attributed to a 12% increase in the number of properties listed for lease in addition to owners pricing their properties way too high hoping to compensate for their increased property taxes. This caused the properties to sit on the market longer, driving the prices down. Rental pricing should not be determined solely on recent comps – current competing inventory is just as important if not more. If you are listed at $3000 a month with a house full of carpet, no appliances, and no updates and there’s another house down the street that comes with appliances and is cleaner and/or more updated, the better value is going to lease first – factors like location, views, etc… are not as important to tenants.
Lastly, 2023 was another amazing year for me in Real Estate and am extremely grateful to not only my current and past clients, but also to those of you who trust me as a Steiner Ranch expert and refer your friends and families to me. I’m proud to say that I closed my 307th Steiner Ranch transaction this year and hope to help many more Steiner Ranch friends and neighbors in 2024. If you’re planning a move, or even just have a question about the market, I’m here to be of service. Don’t hesitate to call or text me at (512) 657-7510, or email me at Elicia@SteinerRanchInfo.com. Also, you can always use www.SteinerMarketInfo.com as a direct link to find all of my market statistics for both sales and rentals.