This is re-posted from Community Impact Newspaper – Northwest Austin.
By Kelsey Wilkinson
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Real estate experts from across the country gathered in north Austin on Jan. 19 for a two-day real estate marketing summit at the QuantumDigital headquarters. In addition to discussing best-practice methods and techniques for industry professionals, they also discussed the state of Austin’s Luxury Real Estate Market in a down economy.
“I get questions from people all the time who want to know what’s up with the housing market,” said Charlotte Lipscomb, a real estate agent with Austin’s AvenueOne. “People want to feel like things are OK. And they are. People still need a place to live.” Lipscomb deals primarily in Luxury real estate and said, compared to other parts of the nation, Austin’s market is doing fairly well. A recent MLS search—the database of listings used by Realtors—showed upwards of 350 luxury homes on the market in Austin.
Lipscomb noted that the most dramatic change she has seen in Austin’s luxury market is a transition to quality over quantity. “The luxury consumer doesn’t sacrifice quality, they sacrifice size,” she said. “I think they are leading the entire market in that direction.” Lipscomb said families are still paying higher prices per square foot, but they are trading in extra bedrooms for energy efficiency, and durable materials. If the rest of Austin follows this lead, there could be a resurgence of smaller, sturdier homes in Austin’s future.