Exclusive: Downtown Austin Condo Sales Report

It’s no secret that the demand for downtown Austin living is growing. However, information on sales of new condos has been closely held. This had the tendency of just emboldening skeptics. Now, the data presented here should allay lingering doubts about downtown Austin condo pricing.

Below is a chart of the monthly aggregate sales data for the new-luxury highrises in downtown Austin, including: Austonian, Four Seasons, W Hotel Residences, and Spring Condos.

Over the past six months we can see the average new construction condo is 1,526ft and sells for $897,064. AustinTowers’ sister site, Downtown Austin Blog, recently shared that for new-luxury construction only 172 units remain, and that we’re on pace to sell the bulk of those over the next year.

2012 downtown austin condo closings ytd

Thanks to each building for their cooperation in sharing, and Charles Heimsath for assembling the data!

As more people move to Austin, the value of central living only goes up. Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, and the desire for walkability and feeling connected to the community bodes well for the long-term growth of downtown and the urban core.

Strange Trends in Downtown Condo Sales

During the first 3 months of this year, 32 units were sold in Spring and the 3 major luxury projects: the Austonian, W Residences, and the Four Seasons. Across all four projects, the average sales price was an amazingly high $952,000. Now, just 221 new condo units remain downtown -- almost all in the Austonian, the Four Seasons, and the W.

We've tracked the sporadic reporting of downtown sales over the last two years and now the trend show some very interesting results. First, Spring and the Four Seasons are selling at a very good clip. While the data is less reliable, the W and Austonian sales seem to be relatively flat.

In comparison, sales at BartonPlace across the lake have been very weak with just 37% of units sold after two years of marketing. In September of 2010, BartonPlace reported that 154 units were sold or under contract. A year ago, they reported that 85 units were sold and 54 were under contract. The new data suggests that just 100 units are sold or under contract -- 54 fewer than were reported in September of 2010.

Here is the detailed data:

Spring
Now: 242 / 247 units sold or under contract
One Year Ago:
215 / 248 units sold or under contract (201 sold & 14 under contract)
September, 2010: 158 / 248 units sold or under contract
Y/Y Change: + 28 units sold or under contract

W Residences
Now: 89 / 159 units sold or under contract (estimated)
One Year Ago:
86 / 159 units sold or under contract (40 sold & 46 under contract)
Last September: 84 / 159 units sold or under contract
Change: + 3 units sold or under contract

Four Seasons
Now: 108 / 148 units sold or under contract
One Year Ago:
79 / 148 units sold or under contract (68 sold & 11 under contract)
September, 2010: 77 / 148 units sold or under contract
Change: + 29 units sold or under contract

BartonPlace
Now: 100 / 270 units sold or under contract
One Year Ago:
139 / 270 units sold or under contract (85 sold & 54 under contract)
September, 2010: 154 / 270 units sold or under contract
Change: - 39 units sold or under contract

Austonian
Now: 89 / 162 units sold or under contract (estimated)

There are just four condo buildings with available new units in downtown Austin. Of these, Spring is the only mid-priced project. As of the end of March, the project had just 5 units remaining. With Spring essentially sold out, it will be many years before new mid-price inventory will be available downtown. In the meantime, there will be increased demand on the mid-price resale market as people who want to live downtown purchase existing units.

Nokonah shows strong Price Appreciation, 360 Growth Flat

It's well known that the value of a condo is mostly determined by the value of the building. No matter what improvements you make to your Railyard condo unit, it will sell for less on a $/SF basis than a unit in the Austonian. For this reason, we've crunched our full-year 2011 data to see how various buildings performed in terms of realized pricing and appreciation over the last year. If you live downtown, view this as a handy guide to the likely value of your unit.

Here is what we learned:
- The most expensive projects are all new: the W ($620/SF), the Austonian ($557/SF), and Spring ($436 / SF).
- Units in the W averaged an insanely high $1.24M each
- 360, the largest downtown project, had the most annual sales at 46: almost one per week
- Greenwood saw the highest rate of year-over-year price appreciation at 16.8%, followed by the Nokonah at 15.9%.
- Two condo conversion projects, the Brown Building and Brazos Place, saw the largest yea-over-year price declines (-11.0% and -10.5% respectively)
- Greenwood, Towers on Town Lake and Sabine were the most affordable downtown projects and also some of the fastest appreciating
- The two biggest selling projects, 360 and Shore, saw relatively flat price appreciation
- Milago stood out as a high performer with solid sales volumes, price appreciation, and very rapid sales

Here is the full analysis:

2011 MLS Sales Result by Building: Price & Sales Trends
Project
Sales
Avg $
$/SF
2010 $/SF
Y/Y %
Avg SF
% Ask
ADOM
W Austin Hotel & Residences

6

$1,244,331
$620
n/a
n/a
1,958
98.1%
156

Austonian

3

$948,333
$557
n/a
n/a
1,711
94.2%
84

Spring Condo

9

$471,056
$436
n/a
n/a
1,076
94.3%
46

Nokonah

8

$555,451
$390
$337
15.9%
1,325
95.3%
133

360 Condominiums

46

$355,745
$377
$378
-0.5%
935
97.2%
67

Austin City Lofts

8

$664,125
$363
$373
-2.8%
1,775
95.4%
74

904 West

10

$241,126
$352
n/a
n/a
684
98.7%
116

Shore A Condo

19

$350,850
$311
$306
1.8%
1,113
95.6%
89

Brazos Lofts Condo Amd

4

$380,375
$302
$305
-1.0%
1,256
96.4%
128

Plaza Lofts

3

$515,000
$301
$288
4.3%
1,679
94.6%
260

Five Fifty 05

8

$426,813
$300
$299
0.5%
1,423
95.3%
80

Milago

17

$335,293
$285
$265
7.5%
1,135
97.9%
31

Railyard Condo

8

$200,027
$266
$251
6.2%
776
97.1%
68

Brown Building

8

$321,119
$259
$291
-11.0%
1,243
96.9%
84

Cambridge Condo

7

$335,301
$233
$254
-8.0%
1,440
93.5%
117

Brazos Place

4

$217,850
$228
$255
-10.5%
943
98.4%
70

Avenue Lofts

4

$302,125
$228
$242
-5.8%
1,299
95.2%
131

Sabine On 5th

4

$215,000
$213
$205
3.7%
1,017
95.4%
95

Towers Town Lake

11

$299,636
$207
$194
6.8%
1,428
96.0%
137

Greenwood

5

$108,500
$178
$153
16.8%
610
95.7%
29

2011 MLS Sales Results by Building: Least and Most Expensive Units

Project

MIN $
SF
$/SF
Max $
SF
$/SF
W Austin Hotel & Residences

$540,000

840
$643
$2,325,000
3229
$720

Austonian

$925,000

1606
$576
$970,000
1918
$506

Spring Condo

$230,000

565
$407
$775,000
1704
$455

Nokonah

$210,000

771
$272
$1,200,000
2497
$481

360 Condominiums

$245,500

728
$337
$555,000
1280
$434

Austin City Lofts

$385,000

1087
$354
$1,081,500
2747
$394

904 West

$189,000

577
$328
$315,000
891
$354

Shore A Condo

$168,400

535
$315
$616,250
1513
$407

Brazos Lofts Condo Amd

$306,500

1084
$283
$470,000
1476
$318

Plaza Lofts

$315,000

1243
$253
$625,000
1897
$329

Five Fifty 05

$275,000

1117
$246
$830,000
2832
$293

Milago

$188,000

865
$217
$855,000
1927
$444

Railyard Condo

$139,000

494
$281
$274,000
1125
$244

Brown Building

$190,000

754
$252
$476,250
2029
$235

Cambridge Condo

$248,000

1189
$209
$424,000
1912
$222

Brazos Place

$169,900

723
$235
$340,000
1324
$257

Avenue Lofts

$225,000

1152
$195
$485,000
1614
$300

Sabine On 5th

$180,000

951
$189
$310,000
1454
$213

Towers Town Lake

$219,500

1357
$162
$570,000
1743
$327

Greenwood

$100,000

608
$164
$120,000
594
$202

Exclusive: January & February Sales Fetch Higher Prices


We've updated the AustinTowers | urbanspace Downtown Austin Condo Market Index for January and February, 2012, and our seasonally neutral 12-month tracking index set four new records. With January and February sales included, the 12-month tracking index set records for the highest $/square foot ($336), average sales price ($405,503), newest units (avg 1997) and shortest average days on market (78.8) as well. When combined, the two months saw a 20% increase in condo sales in comparison to the same time period in 201.

January, 2012 Downtown Condo Sales
Month
Sales
Avg. Price
$/SF
Avg SF
Avg Year
% Ask
ADOM
Jan-08

5

$384,600

$315
1,172
1991
93%
73

Jan-09

4

$358,225

$321
1,129
1996
93%
85

Jan-10

6

$274,547

$291
953
2005
96%
127

Jan-11

6

$289,650

$265
1,086
1989
98%
139

Jan-12

11

$601,195

$388
1,450
2003
96%
103

YoY Change

83%

108%

46%
34%
14.00
-2%
-26%


February, 2012 Downtown Condo Sales

Month

Sales
Avg. Price
$/SF
Avg SF
Avg Year
% Ask
ADOM
Feb-08

6

$279,017

$309
897
1977
98%
89

Feb-09

6

$400,833

$322
1,258
1998
90%
116

Feb-10

8

$291,938

$292
1,002
1979
94%
50

Feb-11

14

$460,327

$353
1,128
1996
97%
143

Feb-12

13

$505,673

$371
1,212
2002
93%
87

YoY Change

-7%

10%

5%
7%
6.00
-4%
-39%

One of the factors driving high sales values was the inclusion of two big dollar sales. One of these was another $2.3 million sale in the W and the latter was a $2.6 million sale in the Austonian, the most expensive unit recorded in MLS since we began tracking downtown sales 4-years ago. As a result, both months show significant improvements in price, $/SF, and size. Days on market continues to improve, showing increased strength in the downtown market. Sales also showed a shift toward higher price bands with 2 units sold for less than $200K, 5 units sold for $200K - $300K, 11 for $300K to $500K, 3 X for $500K to $1 million, and 3 for more than $1 million.

Top buildings during the two-month period were 360, Spring and Milago with 4 sales. The remaining sales were spread across 9 additional buildings. As usual, additional private sales -- which are not reflected in the MLS data -- continued to close at Spring, Four Seasons, the W and Austonian.

See the full index here.

Exclusive: Full Year Analysis of 2011 Downtown Austin Condo Sales

The Annual AustinTowers | urbanspace Condo Sales Report
2011 Analysis: Downtown Austin Condo Sales

2011 showed new market strength as volumes, prices, and $/SF rose broadly across the market. With the addition of new, high-end inventory at the W and Austonian, the market saw increased breadth with more sales in mid and high-price bands. Sales were up 16% from 2010 and 74% over 2009.

With very few new condo units on the horizon, inventory is rapidly decreasing as more units are selling quickly at prices close to the asking price. By almost any measure, it's the strongest downtown Austin condo year in recent memory. If interest rates stay low and lending standards continue to return to more normal levels, 2012 should be a strong year for condo resale and condo values.

With new pricing records set throughout the year -- and a few big dollar unit sales --- the average condo price rose an amazing 13% to $388,157. During 2011, 195 downtown condo units sold -- not including additional non-MLS sales at the Austonian, W Residences, Four Seasons, and Spring -- for a record average of $329 / SF. Unit sizes were unchanged from last year and slightly newer, continuing a four year trend that has moved the average year of construction from 1983 in 2008 to 1996 today.

While the year ended strong, it is important to note that much of the increase in value, and a small part of the increase in volumes, comes from the expensive new units that sold in the big new projects. Not all existing buildings saw the same market average price appreciation: there were winners (Nokonah +16% $/SF, Milago +8%, Towers Town Lake +7%) and losers as well (Brown Building -11% $/SF, Brazos Place -11%, Cambridge Condos -8%). Buyer preferences seems to be favoring newer, nicer, taller buildings.

Downtown Condo Sales: 2008 - 2011
Month

Sales

Avg. Price
$/SF
Avg SF
Avg Year
% Ask
ADOM

2008

130

$345,856
$308
1,126
1983
96%
93

2009

112

$330,344
$296
1,106
1991
94%
88

2010

168

$343,983
$294
1,142
1992
95%
100

2011

195

$388,157
$329
1,135
1996
96%
83

Change

16%

13%
12%
-1%
+ 3.7
2%
- 27

A close look at the 168 recorded MLS transactions revealed the following highlights:

  • Once again, 360 was the downtown project with the most sales (46 this year, 38 last year)
  • 360 values, a good benchmark of the health of the market, were unchanged $377 / SF vs. $378 last year
  • The newest projects had the highest $/SF: $620 / SF at the W, $557 / SF at the Austonian, and $436 at Spring
  • The average time to sell a condo was 83-days, a 17-day decrease from 2010.
  • 7 units sold for $1 million or more during 2011 compared with 8 in 2010, 2 in 2009, and 1 in 2008.3 of these units -- including two priced over $2 million -- were in the W. There were 2 sales each in Austin City Lofts and the Nokonah. There were likely many more unreported non-mls $1+ million sales in the Austonian, W, and Four Seasons.
  • Despite a higher volume of sales, there were fewer values to be found. In 2011, only 27 units sold for less than $200,000 vs 38 units in 2010. The least expensive condo sold for $91,500.
  • Units sold the fastest in Greenwood (29 days) and Milago (31 days) and slowest in Plaza Lofts (260 days) and the W (156 days).

While 2011 far exceeded 2010 results, it is also worth noting that the market was stronger on almost every dimension than the peak market in 2008. As we look forward, it seems that 2012 will most likely be defined by a continuation of the trends that we have seen over the last year: constant inventory, slow but steady sales at the new high-end buildings, a sell-out at Spring, a reduction in inventory priced below $200K, and a broadening of the resale market for larger, more expensive units.

Over the next few weeks, we'll continue to provide detailed analysis of 2011 results, including a full analysis of building-by-building performance.

Exclusive: October Downtown Condo Sales

We've updated the AustinTowers | urbanspace Downtown Austin Condo Market Index for October, 2009. For the fourth month in a row, MLS sales were higher than the previous year's numbers. The most recent numbers suggest that the bottom of the downtown Austin condo market was likely hit this spring. Over the last few months, sales, prices, and price-per-square-foot have all been on the rise.

Month
Sales
Avg. Price
$/SF
Avg SF
Avg Year
% Ask
ADOM
Oct-08

9

$456,839

$307
1,483
1991
94%
108

Oct-09

13

$444,173

$323
1,376
1988
94%
151

Change

44%

-3%

5%
-7%
-2.54
1%
40%

In the month of October, 13 downtown Austin condo units were transacted on the MLS: 4 more than in October of 2009 with a 5% higher price per square foot. The percentage of asking price remained constant year-over-year at 94%. Average days on market for units that sold came in at a painful 151, a 40% increase over last year and tied for the highest number on record.

As always, the results show the weakness of the MLS. While 13 units sold through MLS, additional units likely sold at Spring and other new projects outside of the MLS. In peak months, we know that dozens of units have been transacted outside of the MLS at projects like Shore, Spring, and 360. As ratio of resale units to units increases, the MLS will begin to show a more accurate picture of market transactions.

Over the last few months, an amazing proportion of sold units have been priced under $250K. This trend started to reverse in October as only 3 units sold for less than $250K v. 6 units in this price band during September. Similarly, 5 units sold for more than $450K including one for $915K in Austin City Lofts and one for $1.37M in the Nokonah. The Nokonah unit sold for $452/sf --- the highest $/SF we have seen on the MLS in more than a year.

All in all, the numbers show renewed strength in the downtown resale market. For the full details, visit the AustinTowers | urbanspace Downtown Austin Condo Market Index.

February, 2009 Downtown Condo Sales

We've received the latest monthly downtown Austin condo sales report from our friends at urbanspace realtors. Here are the results from February, 2009:

Month
Sales
Avg. Price
$/SF
Avg SF
Avg Year
% Ask
ADOM
Feb-08

6

$279,017

$309
897
1977
98%
89

Feb-09

6

$400,833

$322
1,258
1998
90%
116

Change

0%

44%

4%
40%
21.00
-8%
30%

Despite a substantial increase in downtown units over the last year, February sales remained flat year-over-year. The market, however, showed surprising strength given the world changes that have occurred over the last twelve months.

February sales included two transactions greater than $600k -- one in the Nokonah and one in Austin Citty Lofts -- a positive sign for the upper end of the market. Dollars per square foot increased to $322 from $309 last year. There were three transactions under $300K, two of which were in 360. With four transactions so far this year, units in 360 have sold for an average of $368 / square foot. The range has been a very broad $327 to $405 / square foot.

While the February downtown condo sales numbers are generally positive, "% of ask" dropped substantially to 90% (from 98%) and "Average Days on Market" increased 30% to 116 -- both of which suggest sluggishness.

As usual, these results do not include units sold directly by developers in buildings such as 360, the Austonian, Spring, etc. The monthly MLS data tends to under-report sales, especially of high price units.

The full results and current inventory are available on the new AustinTowers | urbanspace Downtown Austin Condo Market Index.

January, 2009 Downtown Condo Sales


We've received the latest monthly downtown Austin condo sales report from our friends at urbanspace realtors. Here are the results from January, 2009 :

Month
Sales
Avg. Price
$/SF
Avg SF
Avg Year
% Ask
ADOM
Jan-08

5

$384,600

$315
1,172
1991
93%
73

Jan-09

4

$358,225

$321
1,129
1996
93%
85

Change

-20%

-7%

2%
-4%
5.00
-1%
16%

While 4 units is a small number no matter how you look at it, January has been a historically slow month for the downtown market. Last year, in a much healthier market, only 5 units were sold. While there were small price shifts, the sample is really to small to be meaningful

Most notably, the January results include the first two units from 360 to hit the MLS resale market. The units sold for an average price-per-square foot of $353 with an average of less than 30-days on the market. The sellers received 96% of their asking price.

As usual, these results do not include units sold directly by developers in buildings such as 360, the Austonian, Spring, etc. The monthly MLS data tends to under-report sales, especially of high price units. Still, other market reports, have confirmed that downtown sales slowed during the final months of last year.

The full results and current inventory are available on the new AustinTowers | urbanspace Downtown Austin Condo Market Index.