[ Sidenote from Joe: The fine folks at Trulia reached out to the Home Style Austin team to collaborate on a post that addressed the home buying climate in Austin. I provided them with three Austin neighborhoods most envied and sought-after by my clients. Enjoy the findings! ]
Post by Jennifer Riner, Trulia
After years of renting, you might be inclined to allocate your savings toward a home purchase. Current high rental prices across the U.S. combined with boosting homeownership aspirations amongst many Americans create a conversation hard to ignore.
In a Trulia survey conducted by Harris Poll last December, 75 percent of Americans said they dream of owning a home one day, with 80 percent of millennials sharing the same sentiment. Nonetheless, 22 percent of Americans are concerned of potential rising mortgage rates.
Austin: A market to watch for 2016
Along with the stats, Trulia provided predictions on the 2016 housing market to assist upcoming buyers. In that, economists pointed out Austin as the third hottest housing market to watch this year, based on five factors:
- Employment growth last year
- Low vacancy rates
- High inbound home searches and
- A large share of millennials molded the top ten list.
Austin stole the third spot primarily due to two elements: a high number of young residents and job expansion.
With 80 percent of millennial Americans dreaming of owning a home – a third of whom plan to buy by 2018 – and Austin being an increasingly important city for young professionals, buying a home in Austin is a hot topic. Especially as the average home price in Austin is sitting in the affordable $250,000 to $300,000 range. In addition mortgages in Austin are 3.54 on a 30-year fixed rate, slightly lower than the national 3.56 rate. But, some economists forecast a rise in the near future, as Trulia’s survey respondents anticipated, so locking down a prime rate now is key.
Choosing Austin isn’t necessarily a difficult decision, but Austin is a diverse city and neighborhood prices reflect its variety. Consider the following enviable Austin areas and their median price points, demographics, crime rankings and schools to help scope the market.
Zilker is a neighborhood in south central Austin best known for the Zilker Metropolitan Park, a 351-acre haven with a spring-fed pool, Botanical Gardens, Nature and Science Center, Zilker Hillside Theatre and Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum. The average list price on homes for sale in Zilker is $862,671, a 9 percent week-over-week drop as of March 2016. Compared to the rest of Travis County, crime rates in Zilker are low. In Zilker, 59 percent of residents are single, with 55 percent homeowners and a median age of 35 years old. The median household income across all age groups is $78,403, and 73 percent of residents are college educated.
WEST LAKE HILLS
Also in Travis County, West Lake Hills homes are some of the most expensive in the greater Austin region. The average list price is $2,553,927 based on 25 homes for sale, and the median household income is $155,441 per year. Just 17 percent of residents are single and 89 percent are homeowners. The median age of residents in West Lake Hills is 45 years old. Schools in West Lake Hills are top-rated, with Eanes Elementary and Forest Trail Elementary scoring a 10 out of 10 on Trulia’s ranks. Valley View Elementary scored a 9 out of 10. There were 14 counts of theft, 13 counts of assault and 11 counts of burglary in West Lake Hills over the past year.
Rollingwood is an affluent area just 15 minutes west of Downtown Austin. Home prices on real estate in Rollingwood are high with an average list price of $1,907,500 and a correspondingly elevated median household income of $155,441 per year. Just 17 percent of residents are single and 99 percent are homeowners, with a median age of 45 years old. Crime in Rollingwood is extremely low, with just two counts of arrest and one count of vandalism in the past year. Both Rollingwood and West Lake Hills overlook Red Bud Isle Park, a 13 acre recreational park flanked by the Colorado River that is popular with nature lovers who enjoy hiking, canoeing and kayaking. Red Bud Isle is also one of Austin’s 12 prized off-leash dog parks.
Choosing a neighborhood in Austin or the surrounding suburbs will largely depend on your budget and lifestyle, and contacting an established agent to help you in your search is part of being a smart buyer. To help find a home in Zilker, West Lake Hills, Rollingwood and beyond, contact Joe Paul Reider of Keller Williams Realty.
- Text “KWCP11X” to 87778 to download (this is the easiest method)
- Or visit this link with more details and to download http://bit.ly/kw-mobile-app
Please Note: All listing information for homes currently for sale in these neighborhoods is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Data and availability is accurate as of March 28, 2016 and subject to change.