W Hotel Residences Begins Closings In January As Downtown Austin Condo Sales Rise Higher

W Hotel Residences Begins Closings In January As Downtown Austin Condo Sales Rise Higher

The most significant downtown Austin condo news from January must be the first closings at the W Hotel Residences (aka Block 21 Residences).  The W is the last of the luxury high rises to open, and these closings represent a significant milestone for the downtown Austin building boom.  Naturally, the proud new owners are taking possession from the lower floors going up.  Occupancy is permitted up to the 24th floor, currently.  Prices at the W Hotel Residences are firmly placed into our “top-tier” category with starting prices at [Read more…]

Downtown Austin Condo Prices On The Rise in December

Downtown Austin Condo Prices On The Rise in December

1) Price Per Foot, and 2) Number of Transactions (monthly, Jan-Dec 2010)

The downtown Austin loft & condo market hit many milestones this year: 1) Austonian opened 2) Four Seasons opened 3) W Hotel residences approached completion.  Downtown hosted over $60MM in resale transactions during the year.  Moreover, to the surprise or chagrin of some, buyers are flocking to the top-tier buildings.  We close out 2010 with 38 closed transactions in the month of December – 18 resale, and 20 direct to developer.

The above chart shows downtown austin condo resale trends based on monthly data from 2010.  Direct to developer transactions are not shown on the chart.  The most salient trend we can glean from this data is the average sales price hovering steadily ~$300 per square foot.

Details after the jump… [Read more…]

Downtown Austin Condo Prices Drop in November

Downtown Austin Condo Prices Drop in November

downtown austin condo trends nov 2010

Judging by the average numbers, November was a rough month for resales of downtown Austin condos.  Conversely, luxury condos continue to post strong numbers for the second month in a row.  Back in October, I was surprised by the large number of closings we observed in the downtown Austin’s top-tier condo buildings.  The ABJ followed up with a story saying “Verdict’s in: Austin condos did work.”

Top-tier (new buildings)
While the high-end market continues to show good numbers, it’s not clear to me how many of these closings are from original reservations, rather than new purchase contracts (within the past 120 days).

-Four Seasons shows 49 closed units, six closed in November.

Austonian shows 32 closed units, two closed in November.

-Spring shows ~165-170 closed units closed, nine closed in November.  It should be noted that these were, in fact, all new contracts.

Using data available on Nov 30th, 11 downtown austin condos closed at an average $252 per square foot.  That’s the lowest average price since August of 2009, and is 19.5% lower than the average resale price compared to November of last year.  Compared to downtown condo sales in October, prices were down 14%.  Also interesting, average days-on-market (DOM) was 118 days – not surprising to see closing prices averaging 12% less than original asking prices.

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HOLY COW: October Residential Transactions

I’m blown away by the number of closings that occurred in October for new luxury condos in downtown Austin.  Total number of downtown Austin condo transactions in October is confirmed at 29 30 closings! Resale data shows eight resale transactions, two of which were over $1MM.  Here’s the kicker: there were a combined 21 closings at the Four Seasons Residences, Spring, and The Austonian!

I spent extra time this month confirming transaction reports at the top-tier buildings.  “Spin” was minimal and there is genuine transaction velocity.

October Highlights:

  1. two $1MM+ resale transactions (not including developer sales at top-tier buildings)
  2. The Austonian shows 30 closed units, nine in October.
  3. The Four Seasons Residences shows 43 closed units, six in October.
  4. Spring Condos closed six seven in October.
  5. DANA’s Downtown Living Tour was the biggest ever with over 1000 attendees.
  6. W Hotel is hiring its staff, and buyers with contracts are anxiously awaiting their Q1 2011 move in date

One not so bright spot in the data: the number of resale transactions is down year-to-year, from 18 in October of 2009 to just eight this past month.  The data below highlights last month’s aggregate sales statistics for MLS Area “DT”.

MLS resale statistics

Investors and economic contrarians, like me, who demand value should continue to be on the prowl for deals on downtown Austin condos by focusing on the resale market.  Especially during the winter months, increased seasonal buying power is evident.  I’m working one short sale deal right now, and I’ve targeted others for my clients.  For example, I’m tracking a 2bd/2ba at Milago that can be purchased for under $299,900 SOLD (inquire with me).

The average resale price remains steady at $294.55 per square foot, compared to $293.65 psf in October 2009.  The chart below shows downtown resale transactions.  Notice the spike in buying activity during the springtime.  Now, notice the subsequent fall off…  that’s a buying opportunity. 🙂


MLS resale trends

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