Is the Austin Real Estate Market Recession Proof?

April 14, 2020

Speculation concerning an economic downturn on the heels of the Covid-19 crisis has fueled discussion on the condition of our community’s real estate market.
Noted local Broker Eric Bramlett has researched the Austin market during the last three recessions (1990, 2001, 2008) and, while there is always cause for concern, the overall conclusion gives call for cautious optimism.
For the real estate investor, this could be a time to find bargains with more units to choose from and an almost certain guarantee of the value of Austin real estate increasing.
Using data from Texas A&M University Marketing Research on the Austin area, a graph shows that sales and prices during the last three recessions generally leveled off only to return to the same upward trajectory about one year from the onset.
Bramlett’s research shows that the greatest impact during past recessions was an increase in inventory as total sales generally became more “sluggish” causing prices to level out.
He points out that the recent recession in 2008 was precipitated by a mortgage crisis which challenged the ability to apply and receive loans. Today’s uncertainty is more of a “pause” in the economy as opposed to a fundamental financial restructuring.
Without pointing to the specific qualities that make Austin unique-our strong neighborhoods, outstanding university and diversified economy-Bramlett concludes that prices will remain “relatively unchanged” while any slowdown will likely be in total sales.
Looking at past recessions, Bramlett concludes that if business returns to normal shortly, most impacts caused by the current crisis should be erased by this time next year.

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