“We went out of town for a couple of weeks and came back, and there were houses across the street,” said Matt Hintz, who searched for a home in Austin before settling on a more affordable option outside the city limits.
Hintz and his girlfriend bought a three bedroom, two bathroom home a month ago in Manor. “[I] was looking to buy an entry level home but couldn’t afford Austin or Round Rock,” Hintz said.
According to the Austin Board of Realtors, home sales in Austin cooled a bit in May, but prices remain high. The heavy price tags are forcing bargain hunters to look toward the smaller, surrounding communities.
Kiersty Lombar has been a realtor in Central Texas for more than 10 years. She said the real estate markets in smaller communities such as Manor, Pflugerville and Buda are thriving. According to BestofWilco.com, home prices in those three communities all increased from 2013 to 2014. Although Austin and Round Rock remain hotbeds, home prices have stayed about the same.
“I have people who want to move, for instance back from Georgetown to Northwest Austin, and they have the idea of what it was like 20 years ago, and they’re having a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact you can’t get what you used to for $550,000,” Lombar said.
Lombar said Austin housing prices are experiencing the same trend the Dallas area experienced in the 1970s and ’80s. It’s a growth that spread outward and spurred several smaller communities.
As a result, business construction is booming in cities such as Manor — and with 110 people moving to the Austin area every day, the demand for homes does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.