4 real estate trends to know in Hays County

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1. Residential developers turn attention to downtown San Marcos

The Local, a seven-story student housing complex at 210 N. Edward Gary St., San Marcos, opened July 15, bringing 304 bedrooms and 6,000 square feet of retail to the city’s downtown. It is one of seThe Localveral new housing developments planned in downtown San Marcos. Another student housing project, the View on the Square, is under construction on Guadalupe Street on the site of the former Tuttle Lumber Co. Cheatham Street Flats, which will also be geared to students if approved by City Council, is going through the city’s development process. Developer Mark Shields said he also hopes to bring lofts geared toward professionals and long-term residents to a building he owns at the corner of San Antonio Street and South LBJ Drive in downtown San Marcos.


2. Are short-term rentals here to stay?

The city of San Marcos is considering adopting new regulations for short-term rentals and home-sharing through services such as AirBnB and HomeAway.

Under the proposed regulations, property owners could rent their primary residence to guests, but the rentals would be subject to hotel occupancy taxes. A maximum of two adult guests per bedroom as well as an additional two adult guests would be allowed to rent a home. Short-term rentals, or properties that are primarily used to generate revenue, would be permitted on a case-by-case basis.

The city of Buda’s new unified development code, which guides various aspects of development and land use, also regulates short-term rentals. Those seeking to operate their property as a short-term rental must obtain a permit through the city and must pay hotel taxes.

The city of Kyle does not currently have regulations for short-term rentals.


3. Districts: Neighborhood schools serve students better

In June the San Marcos CISD board of trustees voted to build the district’s seventh elementary school within Trace, a neighborhood under construction near Posey Road and I-35. The Trace school site will serve as a neighborhood school, a first for the district.

Neighborhood schools, or campuses located in the neighborhoods in which they serve, are growing in popularity in Hays and San Marcos CISDs. HCISD’s Negley Elementary School, which is located in Kyle’s Plum Creek subdivision, is a neighborhood school. One-half to two-thirds of children enrolled at Negley live within Plum Creek, Negley Principal Melody Crowther said.

“A neighborhood school gives a lot of families the ability to support one another and provide a sense of community,” Crowther  said. “The kids are all outside playing, [even after school]—their friendships are more than just playdates with someone you have in your class.”


4. San Marcos, Kyle see uptick in high-end housing options

Housing OptionsBuilders are adding high-end homes with higher-than-average price tags to the housing inventories in San Marcos and Kyle.

Homes in Kissing Tree, a community located near Hunter and Centerpoint roads in San Marcos, will start in the mid-$200,000s and go to the low $500,000s. The average market value of a house in San Marcos is $171,683, according to preliminary appraisals from the Hays Central Appraisal District.

Kyle is the site of a high-end residential development, too—Cypress Forest, a development just west of Kyle, features homes that start in the $260,000s and go to the $450,000s. The average value of a Kyle home is $187,202, according to the HCAD.

“As we add thousands of units in the step-up market, it will attract more professionals, and that adds to the great demographic mix that we have in Kyle,” City Manager Scott Sellers  said.

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Brett Thorne reported on education, business, economic development and city government in San Marcos, Kyle and Buda from 2012 to 2017. Thorne attended Texas State University in San Marcos, where he graduated in 2010. He joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2012 and was promoted to editor in 2013.
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