Austin Business Journal – by Cody Lyon, Staff Writer
Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 8:38am CDT
Austin home prices are expected to begin recovering this year and grow by at least 0.6 percent, according to an analysis from Fiserv Inc.
The Brookfield, Wis.-based financial services firm reported the average home price in Austin falling 0.7 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter last year. The Fiserv Case-Shiller home price indexes are based on data and methodologies from Fiserv and Moody’s Analytics.
According to the report released on Monday, Austin home prices have been stable since reaching bottom in the fourth quarter 2010. Fiserv said it expects the price to increase through 2012, albeit slowly, at a rate of about 0.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the report projects the rest of the country won’t stabilize until the third quarter 2011. Before that happens, Fiserv expects another 3 percent drop in prices throughout the first half of this year. But, by the end of 2012, the report said home prices even in some of the hardest hit housing markets will level out.
Fiserv Chief Economist David Stiff said “the first step toward restoring confidence in the housing markets is an improvement in consumer sentiment, which we expect will increase slowly through 2011 due to stronger gains and a falling unemployment rate.”
Compared to pre-recession levels, the average national home price fell 23.6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the same period in 2010. Prices in Austin increased 1.1 percent during that same period.