There’s no such thing as a perfect housing market, but Austin is trying to check off all the boxes for would-be buyers. Young and savvy tech professionals are flocking to the funky metro known for its music scene to scoop up jobs and take the plunge into homeownership.
Since Austin is attracting new buyers and transforming long-term renters into prospective homeowners, LOs aren’t having trouble wrangling customers to buy loans. And it helps that 25.8% of homes in Austin have lower estimated monthly housing payments than they would have if they had been for sale a year ago, according to Redfin. Year-to-date home sales price data from the Austin Board of Realtors show a 12.6% decline in the median price for homes in the five-county Austin region compared to the first four months of last year. The market is balancing out, and buyers are ready to move from the sidelines into the playing field.
It helps that prices are falling, too, even though most buyers in the Austin area are able to afford those heftier purchases. Zeke Alvarez, an Austin-based loan officer at SecurityNational Mortgage Company, says originations have been easier to write due to a sophisticated buying pool. “These buyers – especially those moving with their tech companies – are highly educated and have high credit,” he said. “They’re more likely to buy homes in the $500,000 range. It’s a completely different buying experience from that of first-time homebuyers.”
Alvarez also says that because these sophisticated buyers are flocking to a brand new area, they’re easier to market to and are more likely to willingly engage with an LO. “I’ve seen that when I host professional networking happy hours, people are more likely to show up and mingle,” he said. “Everyone at these events is from everywhere else, so even while they’re going to the event to meet a mortgage professional, they’re also going to meet people from the area.”