Leading SA: Keller Williams Heritage CEO discusses San Antonio Housing Market

What is stopping our area’s home prices from reaching Austin?

SAN ANTONIO – The average sale price of a home in San Antonio in July was $295,000, according to Redfin. That’s up 12% since the same time last year. However, with a questionable national economy and an apparent pullback in offers on homes, how does the local real estate market look, and what comes next?

Jack Hawthorne, CEO of Keller Williams Heritage, joined Leading SA to explain the current local real estate market and the trends.

“So the number of homes sold is absolutely slowing down a little bit. We saw those units drop about 15% year over year. However, we’re also seeing the price of homes still going up year over year, about 12%. So while we’re seeing less homes sold overall, we’re not seeing any of the values go down,” Hawthorne said.

There are a lot of questions in the aftermath of the GDP contracting two quarters in a row; some economists state that it is a technical recession, but here locally. Hawthorne said the market should be safe.

In San Antonio, we had such a strong hyper-local market, it’s propped up by a lot of different things that the national economy simply doesn’t have the luxury of having. And so because of that, our market will likely grow a little bit slower than it’s been growing. But there’s no reason to believe it’s going to go backwards,” Hawthorne said.

On top of housing prices, rent has increased dramatically yearly.

Rents have actually gone up about 21% year over year, which is a lot... We’ve also seen a lot of people that have been priced out of Austin moving to New Braunfels and on the east side of San Antonio because it’s much more affordable, and it’s about a 45 minute to an hour commute depending on when you make it. That’s one of the most surprising trends we’ve seen that we weren’t really expecting,” Hawthorne said.

With the influx of people moving to the Alamo City and our surrounding areas, what is stopping our area’s home prices from reaching Austin?

Austin was designed intentionally to reject growth. And if you look historically, that’s how it was designed. The original founders did not want that to happen. San Antonio is very growth-minded. They want to bring in economy. They want to bring people in and have it a very diverse economy with a lot of different services being offered. We also have the ability to expand in a lot of different directions, and so we see new builds in housing... And so now we don’t have any expectation that we’re going to hit those crazy 25, 30% appreciation years because that’s not healthy, it’s not sustainable, and it’s really not good for the economy,” Hawthorne said.

It’s not just people from around Texas moving to San Antonio.

San Antonio is one of the most popular places nationally for people to move. The reason for that is because we have a great infrastructure here... we have great infrastructure for a lot of housing. Even though we are in a shortage, there’s still a lot more than there are in other places. We’re a very affordable place to live, and it does seem that our local government is really pushing initiatives to put in more money and more attention into areas of town that are traditionally underdeveloped are not as popular. So they’re looking to spread that commerce around as much as they can. And that just gives a lot of opportunity for out-of-towners that they just didn’t have elsewhere,” Hawthorne said.

About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.