The San Antonio real estate market receives significant benefit from being the most popular tourist destination in Texas, with annual visitors numbering over 25 million. San Antonio is the third largest city in Texas, has year round population of almost 1.2 million people, and is located in the south central part of the state along the San Antonio River.
Property values in San Antonio have been consistently strong, with the median price for a single family residential housing unit priced at $150,000. In 2007, San Antonio property values appreciated on average by 5%, while the rest of the country was experiencing a slump. A recent survey showed median home prices went up by 7.9%.
During the first three months of 2008, the number of properties for sale increased by almost 25% and sales were down 15%, compared to the same period last year. New housing starts were also down during the first quarter of 2008, by approximately 35%. Annualized figures show more promise; over a 12 month period through March 31, 2008, all of the 11,455 new homes that were constructed during that period were purchased, in addition to over 3,000 homes from existing inventory. Figures from the previous year indicate that builders pulled back on their construction starts, and offered buyer incentives in order to trim down existing inventory.
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Vacancy and high turnover rates in rental properties are decreasing, and property owners are able to take advantage of the rental market with minor rent increases.
San Antonio has recently won accolades from Fortune and Forbes magazines; Forbes voted San Antonio the second most recession proof city in the United States. San Antonio’s local economy is stable, with a good local job market, and the promise of additional employment opportunities for the Fort Sam Houston construction project, which should add over 10,000 jobs over the next few years. The unemployment rate for March 2008 was 3.9%, down from 4.0% in February.