SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio homebuyers looking in the city’s North and West sides may find themselves locked out of an increasing number of areas.
Over the course of the pandemic, nine San Antonio ZIP codes became prohibitively expensive for median income households: four on the North Side, four on the Far West Side, and one in the Lone Star district downtown.
This is calculated using a 30% debt-to-income ratio – which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says is the threshold for affordability – pre-pandemic and post-pandemic median home prices and income figures, and a 30-year mortgage rate of 5.1%.
By this measure, 45% of San Antonio ZIP codes are technically unaffordable for median income households.
Of the ZIP codes which went from affordable to unaffordable, the largest mortgage rate increase was in 78251, a Government Canyon ZIP code on the Far West Side, where monthly mortgage payments increased by 44%, or $542. The largest dollar increase was just west of there in 78253, at $581.
According to data from housing market analysis firm Zonda, the Far West Side’s popularity exploded during the pandemic and experienced the lion’s share of housing starts in the San Antonio-New Braunfels metro with 35%.
On the other hand, while San Antonio’s median housing cost increased by 39% since the pandemic, some of its most affordable ZIP codes experienced the highest rate of increase. The Avenida Guadalupe neighborhood on the city’s Inner West Side, for instance, saw a 52% increase in the median cost of housing – the highest in the city. At the same time, it was – and continues to be – the city’s most affordable neighborhood.
In fact, despite some shuffling of the exact order, the 10 most affordable ZIP codes in the city experienced some of the highest rates of increase in the median cost of housing.
Zonda’s latest research, however, also noted slowing sales activity is halting housing growth and forcing builders to incentivize home buying, with 20% of builders who had previously increased home prices beginning to decrease them in order to encourage sales.
While rising interest rates are expected to curb home sales and eventually flatten out prices, some experts believe they also continue to keep home ownership out of reach for many Americans.
Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and the San Antonio Business Journal.
Click here to read the story in the San Antonio Business Journal.