It seems that a lot of the talk regarding the bubble may be all in the head. Many consumers are still able to buy a house but are choosing not to. This is in contrast to previous housing downturns where consumers simply couldn’t buy homes whether they wanted to or not.
I think this applies well to the Austin area. Sure, many people have inflated prices because they weren’t savvy buyers or they were novice investors. We have already seen the market slow down to correct these issues, but Austin isn’t going to stop growing and the demand for homes will keep increasing over time. I hate to burst your bubble, but I believe that the Austin market is not going to crash.
Recently the Austin Board of Realtors required all Realtors to carry a new device called SafeMLS key. This ‘key’ produces a unique password every time you press its button. You are required to use it every time you login to the MLS system. This is supposed to make the MLS safer by keeping others who may have obatained your password from being able to login as you since they will not have this key. However, it seems to be more of a nuisance than a benefit. I, for one, don’t have a problem with people logging in as me since I don’t give my password out to other people. But now, if I forget my ‘key’ at home than I am screwed. I cannot log in to the system and help clients unless I drive all the way home first. This is ridiculous.
Realtors also use an eKey which is the device we use to unlock lockboxes when showing a property. It is about the size of a pager. This was a hassle but at least it provided a useful tool. I got tired of carrying this around so I recently upgraded so that I may now use my Treo as my eKey which means one less device I have to carry around. As soon as I did that, ABOR announced this new SafeMLS initiative, so back to more devices to carry. What a hassle.