Home sales up in Austin

Published 8:33 am Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just as national home sales were up between May and June, Austin saw a real estate spike despite an overall down year.

There were 35 home sales closed in Austin in June, up from 28 in May. Nationally, sales of new single-family homes were up 11 percent in that period, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data, though 2009 is on pace to be the worst year for new-home sales since the bureau began tracking them in 1963.

Joe Fuhrman, founder of Austin’s Fuhrman Real Estate, said Austin hasn’t been hit as hard as other communities but added that 2009 has still been a down year for home sales.

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“I thought we did pretty well last year,” he said. “2009 has been down a little bit, (but) it doesn’t surprise me.”

Home sales year-to-date are down in Austin, with 163 sold through July 27 this year as compared to 202 through the same date in 2008. Nationally, home sales have dropped 35 percent in that span.

And though June was up from May nationally, the month was still down 21 percent from June 2008.

That trend did not hold for Austin — there were 32 homes sold in June 2008, as opposed to the 35 this June.

Overall, the Midwest has been the healthiest region statistically, as compared with the West, Northeast and South.

It saw the greatest increase from May to June 2009 at 43 percent. It is also the only region up from June 2008.

However, like the rest of the country, the Midwest is down year-to-date versus 2008, seeing a nearly 31 percent decline.