1. The New Braunfels real estate market is thriving on all fronts
Industry experts say the real estate market remains healthy in the New Braunfels area, and that goes for buyers and sellers.
According to Laurie Jarrett, a local Realtor with Keller Williams Heritage Realty, now is a good time to buy or sell a home.
“If you’re waiting to buy because you think rates are going to go down, don’t [wait],” Jarrett said. “Also, if you’re waiting to sell, I would go ahead and sell now because once interest rates go up and you get above what a buyer can afford, you’re going to lose your sell anyway.”
According to Lynda Escalante, a Realtor at the Real Estate Haus in New Braunfels, the current state of the New Braunfels market is often driven by the price point.
“I sell a lot in [the River Chase subdivision] and in the Hill Country, so the price point I sell is in $400,000-500,000. There’s more inventory in that price point than I’ve seen in the past,” Escalante said, noting that she has seen people reducing their home price more this year than in 2017.
With the swell in population, however, Escalante said homes in the $250,000 range are experiencing a seller’s market.
The months of housing supply in a region can be calculated by dividing the number of homes for sale by the average number of homes sold per month.
When the number of available properties in an area exceeds demand, it is considered a buyers market. This occurs when the inventory is at six months' supply or greater, which means a buyer is more likely to find a quality home at a lower cost than in a seller’s market.
Conversely, when the demand for homes exceeds the supply, it is considered a sellers market. This occurs when there is four months or less of available inventory. In that situation, sellers commonly receive above the market value for their home. If an area has between a four to six month supply of real estate, the market is considered stable.
Here is a breakdown of buyers and sellers markets according to price range in New Braunfels:
2. Buy in Guadalupe County to get more bang for your buck
When homebuyers are shopping in New Braunfels, Realtors say options under $200,000 are hard to come by. For those looking to keep their monthly payment low, exploring properties in Guadalupe County may be the best option.
“Guadalupe County on the other side of County Line Road, a lot of development is happening, and the turnover is at a healthy rate,” Jarrett said. “I would say if you’re looking for a more affordable budget, then (look in) Guadalupe County.”
Escalante said it is cheaper to build a home on the east side of I-35 because the ground is mostly made up of dirt, so builders do not have to excavate into rock. On the other hand, she said, the more expansive soil may lend itself to a higher likelihood of foundation issues for homes.
3. Interest rates are rising
Today’s local homebuyer is getting rates between 4.75 and 5.25 percent, Jarrett said, depending on their buyer profile.
“We’ve been really fortunate that money has been cheap to borrow for the past nine years with low interest rates, but they are starting to creep up,” Jarrett said. “It’s over 5 percent for most buyers now, whereas last year at this time you could still get an interest rate in the high threes.”
For every point that an interest rate goes up, a monthly payment could increase by 10 percent, Jarrett said.
While the days of 3 percent interest rates are gone—at least for now—Escalante remembers them being at 14-15 percent when she started her career 34 years ago. “They’re still pretty good,” she said.
4. New Braunfels housing market expected to level out
Although the past several years have been an ideal time for buying and selling homes in the region, experts say the market tends to shift every seven to 10 years. What does that mean for New Braunfels?
“I think we’re going to shift to more of a buyer’s market,” Escalante said.
Jarrett shared similar sentiments. “I believe we’ll continue to appreciate because we have so many people moving into the two counties, but I will say that it’s going to shift to more of a balanced market, and there’s going to be more inventory and longer days on the market,” Jarrett said.