Seller’s market, steady growth ahead for SA home sales

Population influx creating demand for new homes

SAN ANTONIO – Let the good times and heavy equipment roll. After another record year for home sales, real estate experts are forecasting another solid year of steady growth.

In 2019, approximately 34,000 area homes were sold, a 7% increase over the previous healthy year.

“We hope that the trend will continue,” said Kim Bragman, chairwoman of the San Antonio Board of Realtors. "Given there are so many businesses moving into town, so many people moving into town, we don’t see that stopping."

Nearly 1,100 real estate professionals gathered Tuesday morning at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort for SABOR’s annual housing forecast. It’s a sunny one, mirroring the local economy.

“From an economic standpoint, we’re looking for good, solid job growth. We’re looking for income growth, too,” said Dr. Jim Gaines, chief economist with the Texas A&M Real Estate Center.

Gaines said economists project 2.5% job growth for San Antonio, a continuation from last year.

“The last several years have been exceptionally good, and right now, we’re not seeing any reason to suspect differently,” he said.

In addition to a boost in hospitality jobs, Gaines said the area can expect to see more business services and professional jobs.

The strong job market is making San Antonio extremely attractive. The population boom is expected to continue, as well. By 2050, experts predict Bexar County’s population will approach 3.25 million.

All of those people will need someplace to live.

“We’re still not building enough housing units anywhere in the state and in San Antonio, as well,” Gaines said.

It’s becoming increasingly easier to spot out-of-state license plates in driveways as you drive around town.

“We are seeing a lot of people come from California, Illinois and the East Coast,” Bragman said. “Certainly (there are people) coming from California. We probably look like paradise.”

That’s because compared to much of the nation, San Antonio homes are downright affordable. But more demand for tight inventory drives up prices.

The key to keeping San Antonio’s homes affordable is to “keep building,” Gaines said.

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