Now that we’ve settled into the rhythm of school, we thought we’d reflect back on how our neighborhood real estate market fared this summer, particularly those homes that feed into Doss Elementary School.  Between June and August of 2017, we saw 44 homes, 15 condos, and 8 Townhomes sold.

As neighborhood homeowners ourselves, we like to keep a close eye on the market.   This chart shows the last several summers for comparison.  Keep reading for a more detailed analysis.

SINGLE FAMILY HOMES
average sales price
median sales price
% of asking price
# sold vs. didn’t sell
2017 summer
$842,989        
$795,622
97.8%
44 sold, 9 did not
2016 summer
$712,647
$694,000
98.2%
33 sold, 7 did not
 2012 summer
$587,427
$562,500
97.7%
46 sold, 6 did not

SINGLE FAMILY HOMES

Home prices

Over the summer 44 single family homes sold.  The market value of homes feeding into Doss continues to trend upward.  Nine of the 44 homes sold were over $1 million.  Can you believe that we’re seeing 14% of our home sales priced over a million dollars? 

To put it in context, this time last year there were only two sales over $1 million and the most expensive property sold for $1.265 million.  This summer the highest sale was on Cat Mountain for $1.7 million. It sits on a large piece of land with some really fantastic views of the lake and Penny Backer bridge. It also included a second lot.  We’re curious about the plans for this property, so if you have the inside scoop send us a message. 

On the other end of the spectrum, the least expensive home sold this summer was a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with 2203 square feet.  Located on Lakewood close to Bull Creek park on a .38 acre sloped lot, that one sold for $460,000.  While the house could be refurbished, it sold for the low end of what we think of as “lot value” for our area.  It’s a nice setting down by the creek, so we expect something new will be built in its place. 

While price per foot is not always the best method for measuring home values, we saw some crazy prices for homes in the Doss attendance zone this summer.  The average home sold for $290 per square foot, with a wide range of $122 to $472.  Three of the nine million dollar sales sold at $440, $450 and $472 a foot. YIKES!

List price to sales price ratios  

Overall there was a lot of competition for Northwest Hills homes this summer, with sellers getting around 97.8% of their list price on average.  However, pricing strategy is key.  One home on Knollwood only got 69% of what they were asking for, a home on Mesa only got 76% of what they were asking, and another home on Cat Mountain got 81% of what they originally asked for.  On the upside, two of the million dollar listings did really well.  One on Far Hills with a fantastic backyard and killer views got 17% more than the asking price.  Another one on Deepwoods got 16% more than they asked, and in the fixer-upper category one on Sierra got 12% more.  If you want to educate yourself about pricing strategy, you can read our pricing tips here.

Homes that didn’t sell

In addition to the 44 single family home sales, 9 homes were put on the market and for one reason or another did not sell.  In contrast, last summer 7 of 33 homes did not sell.  Homes can fail to sell for all sorts of reasons, but we typically find that price, condition of the home, location, timing, or the marketing play a major role in getting a home sold.  If you want to discuss how to not be one of the un-solds, let us know.

Given the age of the homes in the Doss attendance area, it’s no surprise that we continue to see fixer-uppers that require significant updating or remodeling.  In fact, 10 of the homes sold this summer were fixer-uppers, and the going rate was around $530,000.  There was one exception on Gnarl that sold for a little more than $600,000, due in large part to its prime location.  As we saw in the 1st quarter of the year, the fixer uppers in our neighborhood are selling for less than they were last year, and it’s taking more time to get them sold.  Again, pricing strategy is key.  Sellers that start too high will usually sell for less in the end. 

Days on market  

Of the single family homes that were for sale in the Doss attendance zone this summer, 25 of them went under contract the first week.  However, most homes spent an average of 27 days on market.  The North Central Austin average is 15 days, so our area is trending a little behind. 

How we compare to other Central Austin neighborhoods

While we don’t like to measure home values by price per foot, for simplicity sake here’s how our Doss attendance zone is doing compared to other elementary attendance zones year to date:

School

Neighborhood

Avg price / ft

Appreciation rate

Price / ft in June

Doss Elementary

Northwest Hills

$229 – 257

Up 12.23%

$301

Casis Elementary

Tarrytown

$274 – 401

Up 31%

$494/ft

Highland Park Elementary

Cat Mountain, Long Canyon, Highland Hills, Rosedale, etc.

$306 – 323

Down 5.26%

$351/ft

Gullett Elementary

Allandale

$352 – 345

Up 2.03%

$283/ft

We are gaining ground on Tarrytown and Highland Park west, while still being a great value relative to nearby elementary feeder zones.

TOWN HOMES & CONDOMINIUMS

There continues to be a high demand for townhomes and condos in Northwest Hills, with 15 condos and 8 townhomes sold this summer.  These sales are in addition to the 44 single family homes that sold.  If you look at the chart below, it looks like the condominiums and townhomes are filling the gap as home prices in our neighborhood continue to rise. 

The townhomes ranged in price from $249,000 for a cosmetically challenged unit we sold on Thorncliffe to a really nice executive level townhome in Mesa Trails at $550,000.  Three of the 8 townhome units sold in the first week. Taking out the high and low, most of the units sold in the $330k-350k range.  On average townhomes feeding into the Doss attendance zone spent about 35 days on market. 

TOWNHOMES
average sales price
median sales price
% of asking price
# sold vs. didn’t sell
2017 summer
$339,875
$326,000
95.7%
8 sold, 2 did not
2016 summer
$346,000
$338,000
100.2%
3 sold, 0 did not
2012 summer
$267,750
 $299,000
98.5%
3 sold, 0 did not

Right now there are only 2 townhomes on the market, and one has a contingent contract. The contingent townhome is especially interesting because it is bigger than most of our homes at 4,037 feet!

In addition to single family homes and town homes, 15 condomimiums sold over the summer. Eight of the condos sold during their first week on market, but most condominiums were on the market for an average of 23 days.  Condo prices ranged from $274,000 for a 2/2 in StillHouse Canyon off Spicewood Springs Road, to $645,000 for one of the 2,450 square foot units on East Hill at The Bluffs with Downtown views.

CONDOS
average sales price
median sales price
% of asking price
# sold vs. didn’t sell
2017 summer
$295,693
$265,000
100%    
15 sold, 5 did not
2016 summer
$205,205
$203,000
97.4%                  
21 sold, 0 did not
2012 summer
$148,353            
$133,450
97.9%
20 sold, 9 did not

LOOKING AHEAD

Overall, homes in the Doss attendance zone have outperformed other Central Austin neighborhoods.  As of this writing we have 19 active homes, 5 pending, and another 7 that have closed since August 31.  And surprise, surprise, there’s another million dollar sale on Cat Mountain!

While the Austin real estate market is doing well, we are starting to see some signs of slowing.  Folks in the real estate industry are calling it “normalization,” but in reality we expect Austin real estate to see a HUGE shift.  Be prepared to go from 6-8% growth to 3-4%.  Sure, that’s still great, but it’s going to feel the same way it does when you are doing 80 MPH on the highway then hit a 55 MPH zone.  To get through it successfully will require strategic planning, tried and true methods of home preparation, intelligent marketing, and proven negotiation tactics. 

Like what you read?  Let’s talk.  We live and work in Northwest Hills, and you’ll likely see us at the morning Doss drop off.  We’d love to grab a coffee with you.  We can discuss the perils of cast iron plumbing and aluminum wiring that’s so prevalent in our neighborhood, go over the three steps that sellers should take to optimize their sales price, or just shoot the breeze.  Either way, we’re looking forward to it.  You can access my calendar and schedule a consult now. 

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