SUPPLY & DEMAND
It was another great year for Steiner Ranch Real Estate values, but extremely low inventory made it frustrating for buyers, including those wanting to move up within the neighborhood. To put it into perspective, in 2019, 78732 had 403 properties listed, compared to 427 in 2018, and 611 in 2017. That’s about a 34% drop in listings in the past two years. The corresponding number of sales per year only decreased about 20%. Demand is still very high in Steiner Ranch.
This year, buyer’s wants seemed to change drastically vs. years past. The overwhelming majority of buyers now consider the dark, heavy, brown colors and finishes to be extremely dated. Homes in original condition that are 8+ years old REALLY struggled to sell, unless there was something unique about the property – view, pool, etc.… On the flip side, some extensively remodeled homes in Steiner Ranch sold for absolute record prices!! If you had asked me 5 years ago if you’d get your money back from a $100,000+ remodel in Steiner, I would have told you to make sure you wouldn’t need to sell in the near future. I had the privilege of selling several of these homes this year and most of them received multiple offers. Because of this, I have several clients looking for older, original homes in the front of Steiner to rehab. Let me know if you know of anyone planning to sell.
Speaking of homes going for record prices – what happened with appraisals this year? I was surprised at how many buyers of my listings got “appraisal waivers” from their lenders. I was told by multiple banks that they know how hot our market is in 78732 and well qualified buyers putting 20%+ down were not even required to have appraisals! This is great because Steiner Ranch is a very tricky market to understand values in. There are over 40 unique neighborhoods, each with their own nuances within them. If you don’t study the market here all day, every day, you aren’t going to be able to properly assess values (and yes, that includes most of the agents who work all over Austin and try to sell in Steiner!!). Appraisers spend almost no time in the home and go off MLS data, having never seen the comps they are using. I had 2 listings of mine not appraise – thankfully the values were easily challenged, and we closed without any negotiated reductions.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO SELL?
It’s not summer! That’s right, you heard me. It is not summer. Up until a few years ago, it was summer. But as the inventory decreased, things have leveled out across the year. There are definitely more sales in the summer, but there are more listings to compete with also. To get a more “apples to apples” comparison of sales across all months of the year, we look at “months of inventory,” also known as the absorption rate. This number is found by dividing the number of active listings by the average number of sales per month. The chart below shows the months of inventory in 78732 going back 2 years. 2 years ago (and before), we did see more of a U shape across the months. Higher numbers August through February (low in December when many people come off the market), and lower numbers in spring and summer. As the number of listings has come down in the past couple years, so have the peaks on this chart. There really isn’t a bad time to sell in Steiner Ranch. If you know you want to sell in 2020 and want to try to time the market, NOW is the time to give me a call. Having your house ready to go will give you the ability to strike when the iron is hot – when the competing inventory is low. Waiting until Spring or Summer to start the process is not ideal.
Because I have a rental property in Steiner, I follow that market pretty closely and post data every month here on this website. Data shows that while prices are fairly stable accross the year, more homes rent in the summer and DOM (days on market) are lower on properties listed May through August. Rents have not increased at the same rate that property values have in Steiner which means lower margins for investors as property taxes keep going up (investment properties do not have a homestead cap). This has not slowed down investors purchasing here as most are confident our values will still rise and are willing to forego cash flow in favor of long term appreciation.
If you are considering buying or selling in Steiner Ranch, or just want to chat about the current market, contact me here or call/text me at (512) 657-7510.
Based on information from the Austin Board of REALTORS® (alternatively, from ACTRIS). Neither the Board nor ACTRIS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. The Austin Board of REALTORS®, ACTRIS and their affiliates provide the MLS and all content therein “AS IS” and without any warranty, express or implied. Data maintained by the Board or ACTRIS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.