Affordable homes with lots of space and a strong sense of community continues to draw people to the area, making Georgetown one of the most desired places to live. Here are six trends in the local real estate market.
1. Local home sales increase shows no signs of slowing down
For the past six years, 2,113 to 4,611 new residents have moved to Georgetown annually, and the rising number of homes sold continues to show the demand in the area. Brandy Guthrie, an Austin-area real estate agent, said she does not expect to see the number of home sales slow down in the near future. Guthrie said that as housing prices continue to rise in the city of Austin, homebuyers are moving to surrounding communities.
2. Low inventory, high demand boosting home sale prices
Home prices in Georgetown have increased 7.19 percent over the past two years, according to Austin Board of Realtors data. Georgetown homebuyers also face a low housing inventory, which affects the price of homes as there is high demand and not enough supply, Guthrie said. But even though home prices are increasing in Georgetown, the city is a more affordable home-buying market compared to cities such as Austin, Guthrie said.
“Home prices are on the rise everywhere, and as you have an inventory shortage, the outer regions get more growth,” Guthrie said. “As you get farther out [of a major city], you get more affordability.”
3. City ready to sell buildings around the downtown square
The city of Georgetown is negotiating with potential buyers of three downtown buildings the city will sell in advance of moving most municipal offices to the new Downtown West campus early next year. The three buildings up for sale are City Hall, 113 E. Eighth St.; the municipal court and City Council chambers, 101 E. Seventh St.; and the visitor’s center, 103 W. Seventh St. Jack Daly, assistant to the city manager, said the city received 10 proposals across all three buildings. Daly added that city officials hope to complete negotiations by early 2019. Proceeds from the sales will help pay for Downtown West, and the buildings will also be placed onto Georgetown’s property tax rolls, which should create new sources of city revenue.
4. Affordable housing set to grow with new developments
Georgetown could see three new affordable housing complexes finish construction this year. Live Oak Apartments, Kaia Pointe and Merritt Heritage Senior Village are all under construction in northwest Georgetown along the Williams Drive corridor, and each project will rent all or most of its units at restricted rates for qualifying residents. Susan Watkins, housing coordinator for the city of Georgetown, said a 2012 housing study found the city needs more affordable housing options as many people in Georgetown were putting more than 30 percent of their annual incomes toward housing costs.
5. Georgetown ranks among fastest-growing U.S. cities
U.S. Census Bureau data released in May marked Georgetown as the sixth fastest-growing city in the U.S among cities with at least 50,000 residents. The city’s population is now estimated at 70,685 residents. Census data also show Georgetown residents hold more educational degrees and earn more money than the national average. Real estate agent Russ Phillips, of The Russ Phillips Team in Georgetown, attributed the city’s population growth to the type of people Georgetown attracts as new residents. “Georgetown has a real identity to it; it’s a destination,” Phillips said. “Georgetown attracts a lot of folks that are small-business owners, attorneys who go to the courthouse [and] empty nesters who— by this time in their life—have a long list of accomplishments in their career where they can afford a higher-priced home.”
6. SH 195, Westinghouse Road areas see boost in development
As Georgetown’s population increases, multiple areas of the city are seeing new development, including along SH 195 and Westinghouse Road. Phillips said he has seen an increase in homebuyers moving outside Georgetown city limits where they can find more space for their money. Phillips said most homebuyers have a budget in the $300,000 range and are willing to move to the outer parts of the city where they can get a view or build a custom home. If they do stay in already-built homes, he said he finds people are willing to spend less on the price of the home and renovate the structure to their liking.