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The string of very strong double digit sales gains continued into November. Sales were up another 11% over the same month in 2010 and year-to-date home sales numbers are now are now up over 7% from the prior year. The annual median price remains unchanged against last year at $194,000.
Home sales are seen to be stronger due to the area's ongoing population and job growth in the area.
Based on November sales, where homes sold on average in 7 days less than those in 2010, the Austin housing market had only a 4.5 month supply of homes, the lowest figure reported since the Austin Board of Realtors began tracking this statistic. A 6 to 6.5 month supply of homes is generally considered a balanced market.
Judith Bundschuh, the Austin Board of Realtor's chairwoman, said "For the sixth month in a row, the volume of home sales in Austin has outpaced 2010, and the inventory of available homes has decreased".
Mark Sprague, who tracks and forecasts the local housing market, said "The Austin housing market continues to show strength. We have ended 2011 on a high note for residential real estate".
"Fewer listings, a tight apartment supply and fewer single-family developments opening in the next couple of years will put a 'positive' strain on supply, or in simpler terms, it will become more of a seller's market," Sprague said.
Bundschuh said that sellers "should be encouraged that demand and prices are strong. Buyers should know the decrease in inventory combined with increased demand could mean they will encounter more competition for properties."
The inventory of homes priced below $500,000 is very tight. "The home that's priced correctly (that) you look at today will not be there tomorrow," Sprague said.