Housing Market

Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper Realtor Megan Callahan shows a home to Ryan and Kelsey Gutierrez on Friday, April 16, 2021. MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeitung

The area's home sales market continues to appear unstoppable, despite a pandemic and a historic winter storm.

Home sales in the San Antonio-New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area increased 16.6% in March, compared to a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic was just arriving in the area.

A total of 3,543 homes sold during the month, according to the Multiple Listing Service Report from the San Antonio Board of Realtors.

The average home sales price in the area rose 14.9% to $317,387, with the median price increasing 11.1% to $265,000.

However, months of inventory continued to remain low, with only 1.2 months available. The month ended with 3,698 new listings, 3,963 active listings and 3,457 pending sales.

In Comal County, home sales experienced a 13.5% increase in March for a total of 379 sales.

The average home sales price in the county rose 18.1% to $418,318, with the median price reaching $330,533, a 7.9% increase year-over-year.

In New Braunfels, a total of 186 homes sold in March, a 22.4% increase year-over-year. Average home sales price rose 17.7% to $313,114, while median price increased 17.9% to $288,000.

"As we near summer, we are starting to see a rise in home sales earlier than the peak of summer season," said Cher Miculka, San Antonio Board of Realtors 2021 chairman of the board. "Taking the pulse of the market and seeing the continually high demand, it is clear that homeownership in the San Antonio-New Braunfels Metropolitan Area remains a priority for many coming into mid-year."

For people trying to buy a house in New Braunfels and Comal County, supply is not keeping up with demand, and the process is proving a challenge for most.

Since last fall, Deanna Timmons had been in the market for purchasing a home in New Braunfels with river access. When that failed, she instead bought a lot for building her own home.

"We had been looking for a house for a while," Timmons said. "We wanted minimum restrictions from a homeowner's association. We were having trouble finding a house in this crazy market. We ended up buying a lot in River Chase. We were not finding what we needed, and when we did, we would tell the realtor that we wanted to go see the house. By the time she made the phone call to get a showing scheduled, it was gone."

Timmons added that she would soon start the process of selling her current home while the future house is under construction.

"We don't want to wait because the market is so hot right now," she said.

For John and Chelsea Capello, purchasing a home in New Braunfels has also proved to be an odyssey of sorts. The couple, who are first-time homebuyers, said they are closing on a home in about two weeks, but while trying to find a home, they kept getting outbid on other properties by cash buyers offering $10,000 to $15,000 over the asking price.

Housing Market

Deanna Timmons visits her new lot in River Chase on Friday, April 16, 2021. Timmons and her husband are planning to build a home on the lot. "We were not finding what we needed, and when we did, we would tell the realtor that we wanted to go see the house. By the time she made the phone call to get a showing scheduled, it was gone," Timmons said. MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeitung

"We wanted to give ourselves a head start in February because we're currently renting a property, and our lease is over in May," John Capello said. "We didn't realize that we would be taking all of our time finding a house."

Chelsea Capello said they kept getting outbid by cash buyers because they "were getting an FHA loan and we couldn't compete with that."

"Having a loan was a hindrance (rather than a benefit) because these cash buyers are coming in and just buying houses left and right," she said.

Stephanie Ryan, vice president of residential sales at Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper, Realtors in New Braunfels, said demand for homes continues at a high rate, while at the same time inventories remain low and builders cannot build fast enough.

"We're seeing multiple offers on our properties that we have listed," Ryan said. "I think a lot of it is low mortgage interest rates, so that's causing a lot of people to have much more buying power, but it's also causing us to sell properties so quickly. A lot of people from California and New York are coming here. I think people love New Braunfels because it's a beautiful town and there's a lot of things to do. They come here for a vacation then want to move here, and it's easy to get to San Antonio and Austin."

Rob Wasyliw, San Antonio-area division president for KB Homes, said the combination of the pandemic with more people working remotely — the need for more space for working and schooling from home — coupled with low interest rates, is creating the current demand.

"The combination of those two factors is causing millennials to start buying homes," Wasyliw said. "Historically, they've been talking about that for years in real estate that millennials would start buying homes at some point and that home sales would go up. It seems like they've arrived."

Based upon its customer base, Wasyliw said that in addition to millennials entering the market, the company is finding that people moving in from rentals — homes and apartments — in New Braunfels, coupled with a significant portion of families coming from California are generating new home volume.

In 2019, buyers in New Braunfels under 40 years of age were 35% of KB Homes' business, followed by 18% over 55.

Housing Market

Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper Realtor Megan Callahan, right, shows a home to Ryan and Kelsey Gutierrez on Friday, April 16, 2021. Home sales in the San Antonio-New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area increased 16.6% in March, compared to a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic was just arriving in the area. MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeitung

In 2020, buyers in New Braunfels under 40 were 55% of its business, followed by 12% over the age of 55.

In 2019, according to Wasyliw, buyers in New Braunfels were 38% from within the city, with 15% from San Antonio and only 1% from Austin. Six percent of the company's home buyers were from California.

Last year, buyers in New Braunfels were 29% from within the city, 20% from San Antonio and 4% from Austin. Just under 10% of the company's home buyers were from California.

Wasyliz added that a limited amount of resale of homes within the market also generates a lot of new home demand. The months' supply of resale in the New Braunfels area is less than a month, where a balanced market historically is six months.

The March home sales figures appear to sustain a trend from 2020 when sales in the San Antonio-New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area increased 11.6% year-to-date for a total of 38,838 homes sold.

The average sales price of a home in the area also rose 8.6% to $293,927, while the median price increased 7.1 percent to $250,000.

Year-to-date price per square foot increased 7.2 percent to $134 while 97.2 percent of homes sold for list price.

Of the total homes sold in the San Antonio-New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area, 9,755 were new construction homes, while 29,083 were existing single-family homes. In 2020, new construction home sales rose 26.3%, with a median price of $262,500. Additionally, existing-home sales rose 7.1 percent with an average price of $245,000.

In Comal County, annual home sales figures in 2020 increased 19.5% percent for a total of 27,855 sales. The average home sales price in the county rose 9.4% to $367,565, with the median price reaching $321,475, a 9.9 percent increase.

Homes in Comal County spent an average of 71 days on the market.

In New Braunfels, the sales market cooled somewhat, with 2,049 homes sold in 2020, a decrease of 12.6% from the previous year, but the average home sales price increased 7.3% to $313,114 while the median price rose 17.9% to $288,000.

Across Texas, home sales rose 9.6% year-to-date for a total of 369,997 sales in 2020.

The average sales price rose 8.3 percent to $318,546, while the median price rose 7% to $260,000.

In 2020, homes typically sold in 54 days, four days less than in 2019. Of the homes sold, 96.8 percent sold for their list price.

The month of December ended with only 1.6 months of inventory available in Texas.

"Texas single-family sales are expected to maintain a rapid clip this year with an 8.4 percent projected increase," said Research Economist Luis Torres with the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University. "That assumes mortgage rates remain relatively low, and the economic reopening continues as vaccines are widely distributed. Home sales would be even stronger if not for persistently low inventories."

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(3) comments

Kinjatta Dobbins

I’m originally from California now a Texan and I’ll gladly tell folk who are not from Texas- don’t you dare California or East coast this great state! I’ve experienced nothing but awesomeness here and hope texas doesn’t become like our coastal states! New Yorkers and... Californians are moving here because of opportunity so I hope they remember that when they vote and not vote based on feelings but rather on opportunities! We don’t want that craziness here! People look out for one another here ! Gentleman hold doors for ladies and people are friendly! If you’re from another state remember why you moved here and remember you can always move back to your home state if you don’t like it here!

Lastly the 35 is turning into the 405 ! Those in California know what I’m talking about! We don’t want this! Trust me!

Doug Odell

Was born here and have lived here most of my life over in the once bucolic, rolling meadows of Marion. Not anymore. With work I've experienced living in both California and New York and a lot of those people moving here have no idea what they're in for. One thing is for sure between them crowding up the place with never before seen traffic in this part of the country and the insurrectionist types shooting all week long shattering the peace, I'm ready to move maybe to beautiful Ft. Stockton.

Rebecca Sherk

Buyer beware. Choose a house on a non trump train street, unless you want blaring loudspeakers and gun nuts driving by your house a few times a week.

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