July First Look Stats: Sales #s Decline as Prices Stabilize

Posted Aug 10, 2021
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We ran first look statistics for the month of July, which are available to view in full here. The July numbers are very compelling and show the following:
  • July 2021 saw the first significant YOY decline in the number of sales! (-15.89% to -17.25%)
  • The City of Austin now has 5 months of pricing stabilization.
  • The 5-County Area now has 3 months of pricing stabilization.
  • YOY prices still show significant YOY appreciation.
July 2021 Year Over Year Numbers
5-County Area 7-2020 7-2021 % Change
Total Sales 4448 3741 -15.89%
Avg Sold Price $445,832 $599,546 34.48%
Median Sold Price $350,000 $485,000 38.57%
Avg Sold $/SF $204.99 $287.51 40.26%
Median Sold Price/SF $170.46 $244.57 43.48%
Median Days on Market 13 5 -61.54%
City of Austin 7-2020 7-2021 % Change
Total Sales 1815 1502 -17.25%
Avg Sold Price $560,158 $738,599 31.86%
Median Sold Price $435,000 $601,550 38.29%
Avg Sold $/SF $271.51 $379.68 39.84%
Median Sold Price/SF $232.84 $331.40 42.33%
Median Days on Market 8 6 -25.00%
With the exception of Total Sales, the July 2021 YOY numbers are incredibly strong. Average and Median Sold Price and Price/SF in the 5-County Area and in the City of Austin increased 31% to 43%, which is consistent with what we’ve seen all 2021. These numbers are incredible and shouldn’t be ignored. Austin’s new pricing is 30-40% higher than it was last year.
The real metric to note is the decline in Total Sales. The City of Austin saw a -17.25% decline and the 5-County Area saw a -15.89% decline in total sales. We dug a little deeper and compared the number of sales in 2021 to 2019:
7-2019 7-2021 % Change
5-County Sales 3727 3741 0.38%
Austin Sales 1511 1502 -0.60%
When you compare 2021 sales to 2019, it’s almost completely flat. Normal market seasonality in Austin sees the # of sales peak in June, but 2020 didn’t follow normal seasonality. June 2020 had greatly inflated sales totals due to the pandemic. The 2021 sales numbers indicate a return to normal seasonality.
In the past, we rarely looked at Month over Month (MOM) numbers because real estate pricing is generally slow-moving. However, the pandemic caused a rapid spike in pricing, so it makes sense to see how pricing trends monthly.
In hindsight, we can see that prices began to dramatically increase in January 2021. We now see that prices in the City of Austin began to stabilize in March 2021 (which is surprisingly early) and in April/May for the 5-County Area (which is more intuitive.) The takeaway is that the new 2021 pricing appears to have been set.
What does it all mean?
If you’re a buyer: Get back out there! While there will always be exceptions, you will now generally see a market where you can make offers with more (historically) normal terms and you will generally be able to value properties much more easily. For most of the year, we had to adjust any offer prices upwards to account for rapid appreciation and it now looks like we have 3-5 months of reliable data to value properties.
If you’re a seller: On its face, the market looks scary, but it’s actually now more reliable. We can look to historical seasonality and we’ll likely be able to predict how the market will behave this fall and spring. This means that things will be pretty slow during the “summer doldrums” (now – before school starts) and we’ll see a slight uptick after Labor Day. The holidays (mid-Nov through early Jan) will be dead and we’ll see the market come roaring back in mid-Feb to March.
What do we think will happen?
We don’t think the abnormality is over. Just as buyers abnormally rushed the market last summer/fall, we think that buyers have already stepped back more than normal this summer. We think that we’ll see contract sales data show a slower than normal July and August (meaning much slower than 2020 and slower than 2019.) However, it’s likely that things will begin to look “really normal” in September and through the winter.
As always, real estate is hyperlocal and hyper-situational. There’s no “one size fits all” approach to real estate (though generalities do help guide buyers and sellers.) If you would like to discuss and/or strategize your specific situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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