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May 21st, 2010 12:03 PM

Austin home sales up 31%, condos up 63%

Austin Business Journal

Austin home sales continued to rise last month, increasing 31 percent compared with April 2009, according to Austin Board of Realtors statistics released Thursday.

Home sales for the month totaled $486 million with 2,043 single-family homes sold, according to the Multiple Listing Service report. When compared to April 2009, the median price of real estate was unchanged in Austin at $190,700. Most promising, pending sales increased 47 percent to 2,813.

Home sales also increased month to month compared with the March $422 million sales total, or 1,784 single-family homes sold. The median price also rose by $10,700 from March to April this year.

“The considerable increase in sales and pending sales indicates increased activity among buyers trying to beat the April 30 tax credit deadline,” Austin Board of Realtors Chairman John Horton.

“Although the tax credit has expired, we are entering a growing economic, real estate and seasonal cycle which we hope will continue to provide momentum to carry our market upward.”

Condo and townhouse were also strong in April, increasing 63 percent to 213 sold compared with the same month 2009. Also during the same period, pending sales for condos and townhouses increased 70 percent to 338.

“The significant increase seen in the condo and townhouse market can most likely be attributed to the first-time homebuyer tax credit,” Horton said. “The median price for condos and townhouses is approximately $30,000 less than the median price for a single-family home; and therefore, these properties can be a more affordable alternative for first-time buyers.”

Realtors are still holding their breath to see if sales drop this month with the tax credit ending, but Horton remains optimistic because the month’s supply of inventory in April was approximately 6.5 months, which represents a balanced market.

“There are a lot of buyers who have been waiting to purchase until they were confident in the economy,” Horton said. “Now that we are seeing recovery in the economy and real estate market, in combination with historically low interest rates, those potential buyers who have been on the fence are now taking the leap and entering the housing market.”

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Posted by Jackie Mills on May 21st, 2010 12:03 PMPost a Comment