Home prices in the San Antonio area have soared since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, putting the goal of homeownership out of reach for more residents. Tight inventory and high materials costs are also making it more difficult to find a home.
Home values in the San Antonio metro area – an eight-county region covering Bandera, Kendall, Comal, Guadalupe, Wilson, Atascosa, Medina and Bexar – are $68,000 higher this May than last May, according to Zillow’s home value index. That’s an increase of 25 percent in just a year.
For context, between 2010 and 2020, the average annual increase in home values was only 3.2 percent. Zillow’s data track both on and off-market home values.
Though rising mortgage rates could cause the market to cool in the months ahead, prices continue to rise. The median price of a home sold in May was $348,800, up 24 percent from the same month in 2021 and 43.9 percent from the same month in 2020, according to the San Antonio Board of Realtors.
Home prices and rents continue to rise in San Antonio, but it’s one of the more affordable cities to buy a home compared to other large cities in Texas and nationwide.
According to monthly Zillow data, Austin experienced the nation’s sixth largest year-over-year percent increase in home values among metro areas with more than 1 million residents. Dallas Fort-Worth saw the 10th highest increase and San Antonio’s 16th.
Some neighborhoods are less affordable than others. In Spring Branch, Bulverde and Boerne, typical home values are between $200,000 to $315,000 above the San Antonio metro area average. Year-over-year home value growth in those areas is also far above the San Antonio metro average.
Over the past 20 years, development has exploded in the Hill Country and builders are rushing to construct more homes. Populations in Kendall, Comal and Guadalupe counties have risen between 86 percent and 107 percent since 2000. By comparison, Bexar County saw a 44 percent population increase during the same time period.
“You have this whole area from the south end of Comal County up to the north end of Hays that kind of has its own gravity now,” said Chance Sparks, former city planner for Buda. “There’s a lot of economic opportunity there, and several other issues are converging, which makes it a very popular place for people to move to.”
Typical home values within the San Antonio city limits are about $36,000 below the metro area average, though the year-over-year change in home values for the city and the metro area are about the same.
Canyon Lake saw the largest year-over-year growth in home values. Just last year, the typical home value in Canyon Lake was $327,000. As of May 2022, a typical home in that area is nearly $449,000, an increase of more than $120,000.
Increase in average home value by city in the San Antonio area
Competition for housing is intense in San Antonio, where demand is outpacing supply.
The city’s population is swelling: more people moved to San Antonio than anywhere else in the country between 2020 and 2021, according to census data.
Homebuyers are relocating from pricier cities or seeking to spread out in more space as they adjust to working remotely. They also sought to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates in 2020 and 2021.
Inventory has been limited for a while but plummeted as COVID-19 spread. Homeowners who may have considered selling worried about trying to find a new home in a tight market and inviting strangers into their home during a pandemic.
Inventory reached 1.4 months in April, up from 1.3 months a year earlier but down from 3.3 months two years earlier, according to SABOR. Six months is generally considered a balance between buyers and sellers.
Builders are rushing to construct more homes but rising costs of materials and supply chain shortages are pushing up prices and causing delays in finishing homes.
They began work on 21,196 metro area homes last year, up 29.6 percent from 2020, according to research firm Zonda. Home starts are expected to reach 22,500 this year before falling slightly because of increasing interest rates and prices and some of the demand being satisfied.
Starts of homes priced under $200,000 have steadily constricted over the last 10 years, plunging from 54 percent of the market in 2011 to just 3 percent in 2021.
Investors are also snapping up more homes here. Institutional buyers purchased 46 percent of homes sold in Bexar County last year, according to a National Association of Realtors report. That was up from 11 percent in 2020.
Housing value data comes from one of Zillow’s home value indexes. The value shown is based on single-family homes, condos and co-ops whose home value is between the 35th and 65th percentiles in a market. The values are adjusted based on short-term seasonal fluctuations. The data is updated on the third Thursday of every month with the previous month’s values.
Zillow’s home value index data represents an estimate of the typical home value in a given geography, such as a state or ZIP code. The data on this page is meant to compare regions and illustrate trends over time — it is not necessarily an indication of any individual home’s value.
Texas is a non-disclosure state – meaning that buyers, sellers, property owners and real estate agents are not required to disclose the price of a property once it sells. This makes calculating exact home prices and values trickier for members of the public who do not have a real estate license and cannot access data from local multiple listing services (MLS).
Zillow is a member of various local MLSs throughout the state of Texas, giving the company access to some of the same data that real estate agents have.
Zillow uses MLS pricing data in combination with other data points such as square footage, location, number of bathrooms, photographs, comparable homes, days on the market, market trends, seasonal changes and publicly available records on tax assessments to create a property-level home value estimate the firm calls a Zestimate.
Zestimates are tracked over time within zip codes, metro areas and states to create the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) data used in this article. For the Houston area, Zillow says that its median error rate for Zestimates on properties listed for sale through the MLS is 1.9 percent. The median error rate rises is 5.6 percent for properties not listed for sale in Houston.
Many real estate professionals have criticized Zillow’s Zestimate because the values can sometimes be thousands of dollars higher or lower than the eventual sale price for a specific property. Problems with the Zestimates were partially blamed for the company eventually ending its house-buying program.
However ZHVI data aggregate thousands of Zestimates across zip codes and metros, which means that errors on an individual property will have less of an impact on the area-wide home value estimates.
In Texas, it is still recommended that property owners work directly with property appraisers and real estate agents to get the most accurate picture of what individual homes may be worth.