January 2021 Austin Market Update: What’s Happening Out There?

Posted Jan 10, 2021
I hope you’re doing well and that you had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family! We certainly did, but there was one big change this year: There was absolutely no seasonal market slowdown.

Newsletter Highlights:

  • Sellers are behaving normally and haven’t yet started listing their homes.
  • Buyers are behaving differently and didn’t sit out over the holidays. New buyers are entering the market much earlier than normal.
  • This has caused a severe inventory shortage and rapid price appreciation.
  • We expect appreciation to moderate this spring/summer, but prices will not go down.
Historically, like clockwork, the market has started slowing down in July and has consistently slowed down through the end of the year. Buyers start to “wake up” and enter the market in Feb/Mar, and our busy season runs until July, when it starts all over again.
This year, buyers didn’t behave (and aren’t behaving) normally. They stayed in the market and kept buying houses. As agents, we’ve heard recent stories of 90+ offers on relatively “regular” houses that historically would have taken a few weeks to sell or have had a few offers at best. These anecdotes are interesting (and somewhat frightening), but we don’t generally make decisions based on anecdotal evidence.
Earlier this week, we sent a survey to the 4000 highest producing agents in Austin and asked “What do you expect when you make offers in different price ranges?” The full set of results are segmented and can be found here. The short of it is that agent expectations are consistent with the market data. Agents expect a LOT of offers in every price range and they expect properties to always go over list, with varying degrees in varying price ranges.

What is happening in the Austin real estate market, and more importantly, what do we think will happen?

Inventory is historically low, but it’s very important to put inventory in perspective. Real estate inventory is a function of supply (units on the market) and demand (number of sales per month or number of pendings.) Low inventory can be caused by increased demand or decrease in supply. When we look at the most recent reliable market statistics, we see that supply did not decrease in any meaningful way. YTD in November showed only a ~2% drop in new listings. However, demand is up in a huge way.
Buyers stayed in the market over the holidays and new buyers have entered the market much earlier than normal. Sellers, however, are behaving as they always have – they simply haven’t listed yet.
Sellers historically hit the market in March and new sellers enter the market through July. Buyers are early to the party and the sellers haven’t yet brought food/drinks!

What will happen in the Austin real estate market in 2021?

While we don’t have a crystal ball, it makes sense that the insane feeding frenzy at the empty buffet table will likely not continue at its current pace. Pricing will likely not decrease, but the incredibly high appreciation we’re currently seeing will likely be short lived. We will likely see the same level of new listings hit the market in 2021 that we did in 2020. There certainly is new/more buyer demand now, but the seasonal increase in inventory will relieve the environment in a meaningful way. While we don’t predict that multiple offers will go away, we do think that it will return to the 2020 levels of 5+ offers per listing, rather than 25+.

What should I do if I’m a buyer or a seller in Austin, Texas?

If you’re a seller, put the property on the market at your own pace and on your own terms. If you’re ready now, go ahead and list now. If you need some time, take some time. We don’t expect pricing to change (except to go up), so time is on your side.
If you’re a buyer, hang in there! It certainly makes sense to make offers now, if you understand that the list price is a suggestion, and you’ll need to offer over list. Remember, we don’t expect pricing to decrease in the spring – only that prices won’t appreciate at this extreme pace. On our side, we’re monitoring the market extremely closely and we will be able to notify you if/when there’s a market shift (and we need to offer less over list to win deals.)
We knew that there would be challenges in the real estate market post-COVID. We did not expect that the challenges would be from a heated market. We are absolutely here for any support you might need, so please don’t hesitate to reach out!!!

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Cory R.

Shaun Duffenbach went above and beyond for us while searching for our first home. He was available any time we needed, even if it was a spur of the moment home that we found and wanted to look at or put an offer on. I’d highly recommend him to anyone looking for an awesome realtor!

Weston M.

My family relocated from out of state and worked with Craig to purchase our home in Austin. He is extremely knowledgeable of the local areas and how each of those fit our unique needs to make sure we land in the right spot. He conveyed all negotiations and deadlines in a very professional manner for us to feel comfortable. Extremely responsive. The process was smooth from start to finish. We are so happy with our home and can’t say enough good things about Craig. Highly recommend!

Kyle Harris

Tara was great to work with. To be honest, the entire team was really on top of things and Tara made the whole process seamless. It really felt like a whole team was supporting us and let us focus on other things outside of the immediacy of selling the house. The transaction was great. Tara made good recommendations on the areas to focus on where to concede. Tara was great about being very upfront in regards to her expertise when we were unsure of certain things but would still make it clear the decision was ours. She was really helpful in helping us weigh out the decisions we made and the potential outcomes from those choices.

All in all, it was a really solid experience and an upgrade from our previous realtor. I will happily use Bramlett again.

Rithin .A.N

I had a great home buying experience, thanks to the support and guidance from Katie Evans (Realtor @ Bramlett Residential Real Estate). Some key points: 1. Katie was always available (almost 24×7) to answer my questions and to tour new listings on short notice. 2. I had bad experiences with some other realtors, where they just try to make a sale as soon as possible. Katie was not like that and was patient with my search process. I didn’t feel pressured to bid on sub-standard listings. 3. We toured listings in both South and North Austin locations, I can see that she has in-depth knowledge of the Austin market. 4. I was able to get my ideal home with the first offer itself. Katie has good negotiation skills, the whole process (making offer and amendment negotiations) was smooth and effortless.

Wendy F.

Bailey and the team were great. I was able to put my house on the market and sell it quickly. Will be using her again for purchase in the future.

Gerald H.

Worked with Craig McGuire this year before and after Covid started popping up.

Incredibly helpful, polite, patient, and professional. As a first time home buyer, he took me all across Austin and North Austin, and helped me in a million ways I couldn’t have imagined. I ended up getting a house I am very happy with in Leander, Tx at a good price.

He was very responsive, and discussed exactly what I was looking for in a house and investment property. He recommended a house inspector I was very happy with, and was willing to visit properties on fairly short notice, and staying out fairly late after work.

He was able to point out a lot of flaws in a house that I would never have noticed, and was very down to earth. He didn’t push a sale, and didn’t question if I was wasting him time. (I had him look at a very large range of cheaper and more expensive houses.) I can be a bit of a nervous person, so I hate the idea of wasting others time, but he was very respectful and open to every house that I brought up. Some of these houses were very important learning experiences as I started to better understand the area, which made me feel confident when I finally found the right one at the right price.

Craig helped me through the entire process, keeping me posted on email, and setting me up to look at houses in a very large area. When he didn’t know something (San Antonio Market) he recommended someone else to work with.

I was incredibly happy with Craig’s assistance. I’ll be using him again if I need to buy another house in the area and have already recommended him to some of my friends. Please consider calling him and look at a few houses together. I believe that he will impress.

Justin Marini

Super happy with my home buying experience with Bramlett, and more specifically Katie Evans. As an out of state first time buyer, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong and a lot of trust you must instill in other people. Katie made that easy for me. Her swift and efficient communication coupled with an effective approach to problem solving made the process of buying a home relatively pain free. We had some hidden surprises towards the end of the closing process (seller related issues) that Katie handled like a consummate professional. After this experience and speaking with a few “dud” realtors in Austin before the Bramlett team, I cannot recommend Katie and the team enough.

Sydney G Overman

Working with Lauren was the absolute best. She made sure we understood the process from beginning to end and was always on top of it when there was something we needed to do. This was so important to us as first-time home buyers, because at times we didn’t know what types of questions we should be asking Lauren and ourselves and how the process all came together. Additionally, we felt like we could really trust Lauren to give us her honest, professional opinion when visiting a property – she was looking out for what worked for us and what we wanted, not just trying to sell us a house as quickly as possible. My boyfriend and I could say great things about Lauren all day and there wasn’t anything we thought she could do better on. We will 100% recommend Lauren to anyone looking to buy a house and if we ever buy another property we will reach out to Lauren.

Prathamesh Tayshete

This review is for Vicki who I have worked with for two properties now. The experience right from day 1 has been really great. Vicki comes with a super power of the most responsive person ever. We ask her a question and the response is in the inbox within minutes. She also helped us with tips and assistance on putting in a strong offer when we were ready for it. And ! Gave us a free home warranty for the first year. Great experience overall

Norma P.

Awesome Realtor, Very patient and friendly. We ask Jeffrey what we wanted and the location. Within 24 hours we had houses in our emails. Jeffrey always in a good mood. We can text or call him anytime. And he always answers all our questions.


Lauren is the real estate agent who is effective, efficient, and most importantly cared about her clients to the upmost degree!

Krystle Larsen

We found our realtor, Ashley Vavasour from Google reviews and we are so glad we did! She truly helped us find our house and get settled. We moved from Utah to Austin and despite being 1,500 miles away, she helped us manage so many details. We’re so glad we found her!