San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas
Echoing a common thread among markets featured on this list, home prices in the San Antonio metro area remained relatively steady during the housing bubble. “One of the things that makes San Antonio a good place to buy a home is our stability in the marketplace,” said Stephanie Kelley, an agent at Keller Williams Legacy in San Antonio.
“We have not experienced the wild swings or inflated markets that have plagued so many parts of the country. We tend to be ‘steady as she goes.’ ” Nevertheless, the area did see something of a price bump recently. The market’s median sales price rose 5.9 percent year-over-year in May, to $158,163 — the second-highest increase among the 10 markets.
There were an average of 4.3 sales per Realtor in the 12 months through May, resulting in an average $675,833 in total dollar volume in sales per Realtor. There was one sale for every 66 people during that period.
Between May and August, “the fastest-selling price range (was) $100,000-$200,000, followed closely by those homes under $100,000. Once the price exceeds $400,000 it can take almost a year to sell. Surprisingly, the properties priced over $1 million were likely to sell in seven months,” Kelley said.
Most of her buyers are repeat buyers who are relocating, she said.
“We have a few international buyers with deep pockets, but still looking for a bargain. There are also investors and ‘bottom feeders’ looking for the latest foreclosure, short sale or true ‘desperation seller’ who is willing to take a huge loss. There are still a very few first-time homebuyers,” Kelley said.
The area’s population, which was 2.1 million in 2010, is projected to grow 21.1 percent by 2020. Bolstered by jobs in the military and in the health care and hospitality industries, the San Antonio metro area had an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent in June.
Also, the area had the second-lowest foreclosure rate among the 10 markets in the second quarter: 1 in 350 homes received a foreclosure filing.
The number of Realtors in the area has dropped by 3.9 percent in the past year, to 7,573.
“Even though the recent financial downturns have not affected us as severely as other parts of the country, many agents have sought more lucrative or secure employment in a lukewarm market, or just succumbed to the normally extremely high attrition rate in the real estate profession,” Kelley said.
“Established agents are doing OK; those who specialize in foreclosures appear to be doing quite well. Those who do short sales have a great deal of patience. Newcomers have to work harder to develop a presence, but there are opportunities if they can hang in there,” she added.