Real Estate

Higher mortgage rates curb San Antonio home sales

Data: RE/MAX; Note: Overall number includes 50 metro areas analyzed by RE/MAX; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios
Data: RE/MAX; Note: Overall number includes 50 metro areas analyzed by RE/MAX; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Home sales were down nearly 21% in February compared with February 2022 in the San Antonio area, per RE/MAX's newly released February report.

Why it matters: In 2022, potential buyers were desperate for more inventory. Now homes are hitting the market, but people can't afford them, Axios' Brianna Crane writes.

San Antonio apartments growing in size while others shrink

Data: RentCafe analysis of Yardi Matrix data; Note: Analysis includes U.S. metro areas (defined by Yardi Matrix market boundaries) with the most apartments located in multi-family buildings of 50 units or more; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

San Antonio apartments are growing more spacious, bucking national trends.

Why it matters: Apartment sizes are shrinking nationally, a reversal in the rental market that saw units get bigger during the early part of the work-from-home era.

  • But San Antonio’s growing apartment size average is in line with the South, where square footage is actually increasing.

By the numbers: The average size of newer San Antonio apartments is 901 square feet, 1.6% bigger than the 2022 national average of 887 square feet, per a new report from listing service RentCafe.

Yes, but: We by no means have the largest new apartments. That honor goes to Tallahassee, Florida, with its average at 1,182 square feet.

  • The only Texas city to rank in the top 15 largest new apartment sizes was Lubbock, with an average of 1,055 square feet.
  • We're smack dab in the middle, with San Antonio ranking 49th among the 100 reviewed metro areas.

The big picture: Nationwide, newly built apartments in 2022 shed 30 square feet on average compared to 2021, per the report.

  • That sharp decrease was fueled in part by more studios and one-bedroom apartments entering the market, researchers found, analyzing the 100 metro areas with the most high-density units.

Flashback: In 2020 and 2021, demand for more space resulted in larger unit configurations, RentCafe analyst Adina Dragos tells Axios.

  • "Fast forward to 2022, the demand for more apartments prompted developers to accommodate more units in their projects," Dragos says.

Case in point: 57% of apartments completed last year were small units across the U.S.

Of note: At the local level, researchers considered apartments built between 2013 and 2022.

What we're watching: Apartments under construction. As the market keeps fluctuating post-pandemic, their size could signal whether the trend of bigger San Antonio rentals will stick.

San Antonio rents are still high, for now

Data: Moody's Analytics; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

In the fourth quarter of 2022, the average asking rent in the San Antonio metro area was $1,135, up 2.8% from a year earlier, per economic research firm Moody's Analytics.

Why it matters: Affordability concerns are starting to weigh down the booming rental market.

What's happening: Many would-be homebuyers chose to rent longer last year, sustaining apartment demand, economists at Moody's Analytics say. But people are hitting their spending limit.

  • For the first time in over two decades, households nationally now have to spend 30% of their income on average rents, a new report states.

Year-over-year rent growth slowed in the second half of the year across the board, "and we expect further deceleration as new supply makes it to market at the same time the labor market softens," Lu Chen, senior economist at Moody's, tells Axios.

Zoom out: Rents are already falling in cities that were near the epicenter of the pandemic home-price boom, Axios' Matt Phillips reports, citing data.

What we're watching: New apartment construction. The expected surge in supply could help bring down prices.

  • Yes, but: Experts say most cities will "remain undersupplied with the kind of affordable units that see the highest demand," per The Wall Street Journal.

San Antonio home prices will stay competitive in 2023, experts say

Illustration of the year 2022, with a keyhole for a zero, which zooms in so you can see through the keyhole to the year 2023.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Local real estate experts predict 2023 will bring more balance to the San Antonio-area market. Here’s what they’re saying.

San Antonio renters can't afford a starter home

Data: Point2Homes; Map: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

San Antonio renters earned 58% of the income they would need to afford a starter home in October, according to an analysis by real estate website Point2Homes.

  • Researchers considered "starter homes" properties valued in the lower one-third of all available homes for sale.

What $1 million gets you in San Antonio's real estate market

A Southtown loft with exposed beams, large windows and longleaf pine hardwoods.

This Southtown loft has an open concept living room and kitchen area. Photo: Nicholas M. Bailey, Pelican Image Creation, courtesy Claudia Berteaux

San Antonio is relatively affordable compared to other large Texas cities (looking at you, Austin). For those who have upwards of $1 million to spend on a new abode, you can get some bang for your buck here.

Details: We rounded up three million-dollar homes that cater to a diverse set of lifestyles. There’s proximity to hiking trails, urban walkability and historic character.

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