Housing MarketReal Estate

Local Housing Markets: Austin, Hartford and Lake Tahoe

An inside look at five local markets from across the country

Local housing markets is a HousingWire magazine feature spotlighting housing trends across the country.

Austin, Texas

In 2021, Austin had one of the hottest housing markets in the country. But, in 2022, as prices in the metro rose to never-before-seen levels, things started to change. In early 2023, however, as inventory in Austin has become more and more constrained, buyers have become accustomed to the higher mortgage rates and demand has ticked up. “It is keeping the pressure on buyers to shop wisely,” Kent Redding, a local Berkshire Hathaway Home Services agent, said. “Closings are still down year over year, but in January they were down just 21% compared to 36% in October.”

Tight inventory, which was down to just 1,697 homes as of late February according to data from Altos Research, and the relatively strong level of demand has kept home prices stable. The 90-day average median list price as of mid-February comes in at $699,187, down a little over $100,000 from the record high set in mid-March 2021. For agents and sellers looking to succeed in Austin’s current market, Redding says pricing is key. “We are still seeing properties going under contract quickly, so long as they are priced properly,” he said.


Hartford, Connecticut

It has been quite a while since the Nutmeg State’s capital city has had a happening housing market. “When we went through the Great Recession, we lost a lot of our insurance industry, so we didn’t have as many people moving in from out of town for those jobs,” Katie French, a local Coldwell Banker agent, said. “Now that the market has slowed, we are still seeing a lot of people moving here because they are moving home. They somehow ended up in New York or the West Coast, but they decided to come back to an environment they felt was safe, and where their kids could have the life they had as children.”

These out-of-state and boomerang buyers have caused Hartford’s housing market to heat up. As of February 2023, Hartford County’s Altos Market Action Index reading was 62, compared to a national reading of 40. Altos considers an index reading of 30 to be a balanced market — and anything above that to be a seller ’s market.


Lake Tahoe, California

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, straddling the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is the epitome of picturesque. With pristine beaches, world-renowned ski resorts and breathtaking views it is no wonder why the area attracts scores of second-home and vacation property buyers. According to Alison Elder, a top-performing Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Drysdale Properties agent, Lake Tahoe’s status as primarily a second home market, to some extent, helps insulate it from major market swings.

“About 80% of transactions are second home purchases,” Elder said. “The vast majority are lifestyle purchases, so that means that there is not a lot of variabilities.” This can be seen in the relative stability of the Altos Market Action Index score in El Dorado County, which has hovered between a reading of 43 and 36 since early July 2022.


Rockingham County, New Hampshire

Less than an hour’s commute to Boston and a short drive to beaches, mountains and lakes, Rockingham County is a popular destination for many homebuyers. “The communities are so bucolic,” Todd Alperin, of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Masiello Group, said. This popularity has resulted in constrained inventory.

There were just 169 homes on the market as of late February 2023. It is a solid seller ’s market with an Altos Market Action index score of 54. “We have about a month’s worth of inventory on the market right now and in some of the smaller towns like Plaistow, Atkinson and Hampstead, there are only one or two houses,” Alperin said. The cooldown in buyer demand has meant that homebuyers have the freedom to be a bit choosier. “If a house comes on the market and it is priced accurately, is in decent condition and is in a good area, it will sell pretty quickly, but if there are issues with the house, then it will stay on the market longer,” Alperin said.


Miami, Florida

Although housing markets across the country have slowed, including the market in Miami, local Compass agent Mike Martirena says prices are holding steady. “In the last 30 days or so inventory levels are down, but the selling price remains pretty stable,” he said. And the data supports Martirena’s assertion. According to data from Altos Research, since mid-August, the 90-day average median list price has only dropped roughly $20,000.

In mid-February, the 90-day average median list price was $717,591. Martirena attributed the steady home prices to the low level of inventory compared to the number of buyers in the market. “I had one listing for a few months and then all of a sudden we got three offers within a week,” Martirena said. “The buyers have started coming back.”


This article was originally published in the April/May issue of HousingWire Magazine. Click here to read the full magazine.

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