SAN ANTONIO – What determines the strength of the housing market?
Kim Bragman, chair-elect of the San Antonio Board of Realtors, also known as SABOR, said some key components include comparing the average and median home prices to the year before.
If there is a rapid, large increase to prices, that can mean the market is exploding, which could potentially mean a volatile future. Bragman said the ideal situation is a steady increase, which she believes is the case for San Antonio.
“Our average price and median price compared to last year is only (up) about 2.8%,” Bragman said. “It's a nice, steady increase.”
Bragman said she believes the San Antonio housing market would be relatively safe if there were to be a recession in the future. She attributes this to a steady unemployment rate, which was at 3.3% in July, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
She said San Antonio has strong, high-paying industries, such as biomedical sciences, the military and a rising tech industry, which, she says, keeps the market protected.
“Our prices are steady ... they're not exploding. The household incomes are steady and (so is) our unemployment rate, so I think that the county and San Antonio (are) positioned very well to ride out, perhaps, a recession,” Bragman said.
A recent report by Redfin, a national real estate agency, said otherwise, ranking San Antonio in the top 10 cities for the housing market to be hurt most if a recession were to happen. The agency ranked San Antonio No. 9 in the nation for being in danger if there's a recession.
The study based its findings on a couple of factors, including home price volatility and share of households more than 65 years old.
Bragman said this isn't data that is usually used to determine the housing market.
“I would question their metrics, to be honest with you,” Bragman said. “They really don't truly reflect where our market is.”
Bragman said there are areas of the city that she would call explosive, such as East Side neighborhoods Dignowity Hill, Denver Heights and Government Hill and West Side neighborhoods Woodlawn and Jefferson.
Overall, she said, the San Antonio market remains steady.