1. City ranks 7th as it continues to be one of the fastest-growing across the country
Georgetown was the seventh fastest-growing U.S. city with at least 50,000 residents between July 2017 and July 2018, according to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said it can be a challenge for City Council to manage and guide growth while maintaining Georgetown’s small-town charm, but the increase in population only means the city is able to provide more amenities to its residents.
“Growth is here; growth is coming,” Ross said. “Our job on the council is to manage and guide that growth so that we do preserve that small-town feel that everybody loves.”
The estimates show Georgetown’s total population in July 2018 was 74,180, which was a 5.2% increase from the previous year.
Ross credits the city’s parks system, award-winning library, low tax rate and beautiful town square as reasons why more people are moving to Georgetown every day.
“Georgetown is no longer a secret; the word is out,” Ross said. “And people choose Georgetown because it’s a safe city [and] we have a high quality of life.”
2. Number of single-family homes on the market sees slight increase in 2019
There are 85 more single-family homes listed for sale in April 2019 in Georgetown than there were last year, according to Austin Board of Realtors data.
In April 2018, Georgetown had 1,314 new and active listings as well as pending sales for single-family homes. That number increased to 1,399 listings in April 2019, data show.
In addition, the number of single-family homes sold in Georgetown increased 35.21% year over year, from 213 single-family homes sold in April 2018 to 288 single-family homes sold in April 2019, data shows.
Amy Waring of Coldwell Banker United, Realtors said the increase is mostly due to new construction.
Waring said that new construction often affects the average number of days homes spend on the market because many times the new homes are on sale before they are even built. She added that builders of new homes offer incentives that resale homes cannot. However, resale homes are still a majority of home sales in Georgetown.
“Even though days on market is longer due to all the new construction, resales are still selling,” Waring said. “Resales make up 65% of the sales.”
James Hammack, a Georgetown resident who is currently selling his home, said while new construction may affect the number of interested buyers, he feels the right buyer will come.
“I’m not worried about the new homes,” Hammack said. “There are always going to be new homes for sale, [but] I think a lot of homebuyers are looking for that established neighborhood, and these established neighborhoods offer something new homes don’t have.”
3. Values on multifamily units increase in Georgetown, Georgetown ISD
In the city of Georgetown, multifamily values have increased by 149% from 2015-19, according to Williamson Central Appraisal District data.
Similarly, multifamily values have increased by 148% within Georgetown ISD boundary lines in those same years, data shows.
Values indicate the amount of total value of all property—new and existing—for that category in that year. This includes apartment complexes, duplexes and fourplexes, Williamson Central Appraisal District Chief Appraiser Alvin Lankford said.
The increase is nearly double that of Williamson County as a whole, which continues to be one of the fastest-growing counties in the state.
The county’s multifamily values increased by 79%, data shows.
“In Georgetown … there have been several apartment complex projects that have completed construction,” Lankford said. “You just have a lot of new units that have been put in place, [and] that’s why you see a large increase.”
4. Georgetown property owners increase spending on home improvements
More property owners are investing in home renovations than in years past.
More than 1,150 new home improvement projects were underway in the city of Georgetown in April 2019, up from 796 in April 2018, according to Williamson Central Appraisal District data.
Gregg Martin, president of The Ground Up construction company in Georgetown, said as the properties in the city age, many owners are looking to upgrade their homes.
Martin said he primarily sees bathroom and kitchen remodels, as owners look to modernize their homes. He added he has found that as the prices of homes increase, more people find it is most cost-effective to renovate existing space rather than buy a new home that fits their needs.
“I think a lot of people are realizing that it’s better to put money into the house they already own than to buy something new that’s going to cost significantly more than a renovation,” Martin said.
According to the city’s technical study of housing, about 77.6% of Georgetown residents own their houses.
5. Median residential values see increase in Georgetown, Williamson County
The Georgetown median home values have increased by nearly $45,000 over four years as average prices level out, according to Austin Board of Realtors data.
Amy Waring, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker United, Realtors, said new construction often drives up home values.
The median Georgetown home value was $268,826 in 2019, up from $224,083 in 2015, data shows. The values also increased in Williamson County from $201,884 in April 2015 to $273,882 in April 2019, data shows.
Waring said home prices are influenced by supply and demand. As the number of homes available in Georgetown increases, the values and prices will decrease.
Data also shows a slight decrease in average home prices by about $6,000 year over year. Waring said Georgetown is currently a buyer’s market, but that may change as new construction is completed.
“New construction sets the benchmark for pricing. … [And] new home prices will drive up the resale prices,” Waring said.
6. As property values increase, so do taxable values
City of Georgetown residents have seen a $190 million increase in existing property value since 2015, according to Williamson Central Appraisal District data.
Residents who live within the boundaries of Georgetown ISD have seen a $570 million increase in that same time, data shows.
WCAD Chief Appraiser Alvin Lankford said that while the data is preliminary, as the numbers have yet to be certified, it gives taxing units an idea of where they can set their tax rate.
“The taxable value is exactly what the taxing units can utilize when they formulate their tax rate,” Lankford said. “Taxing units are those that determine how much tax a property owner will pay.”
Taxing units include the county, cities and school districts. The taxable value includes exemptions and determines how much in taxes an owner will pay, Lankford said. Lankford added that his office works as a mirror to the housing market. Staffers use home sales prices and appraise neighbor home values.
He said it is taxing units that determine whether taxes will increase or not through setting the tax rate.
“If you have a 10% increase in value and you don’t have a correlating 10% decrease in tax rate, taxing units have made the decision to increase taxes,” Lankford said.
This appeared in print as one of our 6 Real Estate Trends.
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