Austin Housing Market Overview
If you’re hoping to buy a home in Austin but are struggling to find one that fits your budget, you’re not alone. Many young couples and families are being priced out of the best Austin neighborhoods as the housing market booms, interest rates rise, and salaries fail to keep up with the rising costs. Austin’s thriving economy and fast-growing population have created a high demand for housing. In fact, the downtown area is filled with condo construction, and even tiny vacant lots in East Austin are now selling for more than $500K, which was unimaginable just ten years ago.
Although the median list price for homes in Austin is $489K and the median house size is 2,299 SF with a median price of $221 per SF, these figures don’t tell the whole story. A major factor contributing to the rise in house prices is the shortage of available inventory.
Homes in highly sought-after neighborhoods in Central Austin, such as Hyde Park, South Congress, Travis Heights, and East Austin, will either require a significant amount of money or will be sold quickly before being officially listed on the market. In these areas, it is common for there to be multiple offers, and the purchase price of both condos and houses often exceed the asking price. Even in areas further from the city center, like Barton Hills, Rollingwood, and West Lake Hills, homes are still expensive due to their desirable Hill Country views, convenient commute to downtown, and excellent schools.
Although you may not be able to afford a move-in ready home in the priciest neighborhoods of Austin, there are still some feasible options available. Consider looking in the areas towards the north, south, or east, and you may end up with a fairly good deal. Here are some ideas of where to start looking:
Top 5 Up-And-Coming Neighborhoods
Montopolis is an area situated east of the rapid high-rise development on the southeastern shore of the Colorado River. It resembles what East Austin looked like a few years ago. Currently, house flippers are purchasing foreclosure properties, although there are still some good teardowns and empty lots that are up for grabs.
The housing market in this neighborhood is starting to pick up, so act promptly if you are interested in purchasing property here. Prices can start in the $100K range, while fixer-uppers can cost around $250K, and new builds can range from $350K and up.
2. McKinney Falls and Onion Creek
There are some up-and-coming neighborhoods located south of Ben White and along William Cannon Drive, near McKinney Falls State Park. Single-family detached homes cost between the mid-$150K to the mid-$250K. The downside to buying in this area is its location because it’s pretty close to the airport so you can expect some noise. Housing options consist of a mix of older foreclosures, new builds, and remodels. If you prefer working from home or don’t mind spending time in traffic, you should consider this option.
Keep in mind that this particular area in Austin is often disregarded due to its unfavorable location, scarcity of perks, and subpar school districts. Therefore, if you decide to renovate, caution is advised not to overspend. You may need to hold onto the property for a longer period to ensure your investment pays off.
3. East of the Airport
If you’re looking to own a piece of the East Austin dream but don’t want to pay more than $350K for a teardown, keep searching eastward. Prices are a bit more affordable east of Airport Blvd below MLK. As you go further east of Springdale Road, prices continue to decrease. However, even for a new build or flipped home, you should still expect to pay at least $350K to $400K. If you’re fortunate, you may even find a good deal on a foreclosure or auctioned home for $150K or less, but you will need to act quickly.
Do you prefer a home that doesn’t require any major repairs or renovations? Are you looking for a comfortable place for your young family to settle in? If you’re having trouble affording a home in the central neighborhoods of Austin, consider moving to Pflugerville, a fast-developing suburb located northeast of downtown Austin near the I-35 corridor.
Pflugerville is a good place to invest if you are willing to commute on I-35 or have a flexible work arrangement. The neighborhoods in the area are primarily middle-class and offer affordable, well-planned developments with plenty of outdoor spaces and recreation opportunities. Additionally, the cost of a new home in a master-planned community is comparable to a teardown in East Austin. The median list price for homes in Pflugerville is $294K, the median house size is 2,455 SF, with a median price per SF of $123.
Leander is a great suburb for young families and is located about 30 minutes north of Austin. Don’t worry about the distance from central Austin, as Leander has a commuter rail station and is conveniently located off the US-183a express toll road, making it easier to get downtown compared to other Austin suburbs.
Leander is getting ready for fast population growth by developing over 14,000 new homes in different stages of completion. Sarita Valley, a master-planned community, offers homes starting in the low $200K range, making it a more affordable option for young families. If you’re interested in Leander, it’s recommended that you don’t delay in making an offer.
Between 2010 and 2014, the population of Leander increased by 28.85 percent and this growth is expected to continue in the next decade. The median house size in Leander is 2,760 SF and the median price per SF is $137. Additionally, the median list price for homes in Leander is $385K.
When it comes to buying a home in the Austin area, there are plenty of options available. From foreclosure properties and teardowns to new builds and remodels, you can find an up-and-coming neighborhood that meets your needs and budget. It is important, however, to be aware of the competition for certain areas and act quickly if you want to purchase a good property before prices increase. Investing in a house is an important decision, so be sure to do your research and consider all of your options carefully.
Contact The Seely Group today to start your Austin home buying journey.