After 2012, San Antonio went on a building spree and could have continued, until the government came along and tightened lending regulations. Fewer developers managed to land loans for lots, which meant fewer houses and heightened demand. Property costs spiked as a result.

Market Insights

After five years of seeing the real estate market in San Antonio boom, Mark Dotzour, a retired economist from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, said that the real state bird of Texas should be the construction crane. Since 2012, housing construction has been increasing at a steady clip, causing San Antonio to be ranked 20th out of 75 American cities on the Urban Land Institute's list of markets to watch in 2016. Some analysts pointed to the region's low cost of doing business and its low cost of living as factors that drove the real estate boom. Housing sales were going so well – the demand was high and the price affordable – that many homebuyers bid beyond asking price. Even so, houses were comparatively cheap. In 2016, the median house price tag in the city was $198,000, versus the national average of $231,000. At the same time, San Antonio also boosted a strong apartment market, which attracted millennials who, largely, prefer to rent.

In mid-2016, San Antonio's attractive mortgage rates, rising home prices and job growth showed no signs of slowing down. Population growth, good education, low interest rates, strong economy, job stability: San Antonio has them all.

The one cloud on the horizon for the San Antonio housing market is stiffened federal lending policies, which have clapped the roof on real estate and stoked prices. Developers cannot build without funds, and lots cost almost triple what they were priced at a decade ago. Frank Sitterle, president of Texas-based Sitterle Homes, said costs for lots in the San Antonio area went up from $15,000 to a minimum $25,000 within a few years. Materials have also become more expensive. Others point to the rising costs of government regulations, which include energy efficiency, water efficiency and protection against environmental hazards, among other building codes. Some analysts predict a housing bubble.

Property Transfer Tax

Texas is one of 12 states without a property transfer tax; to compensate, the district carries some of the highest property taxes in the nation. Tax rates vary according to region. In 2016, Texas' median effective property rate was 1.94%, the fourth-highest rate of any state. San Antonio is the capital of Bexar County, where property taxes are slightly higher than the state's average. The average homeowner in Bexar County pays $2,623 annually. In San Antonio, the tax rate is 2.25%.

Most Expensive Neighborhoods

As of 2014, the costliest neighborhoods in San Antonio were Hill Country Village, Alamo Heights, Fair Oaks Ranch, Stone Oak (particularly the Sonterra area) and The Dominion. Median home prices in these neighborhoods range from $559,990 in Hill Country Village to $259,900 in The Dominion in 2016.

Best Real Estate Websites

The San Antonio Board of Realtors provides member products, professional real estate programs and services on its website. It also helps users find properties, connects them with realtors and updates them with market news. JBGoodwin Realtors lists San Antonio homes that range from one-bedroom condominiums in a downtown nook to mansions in the hills. KW San Antonio calls itself the top San Antonio residential real estate office and provides resources, listings and a directory of realtors. My Texas Home Resource gives listings in Austin, Boerne, New Braunfels, San Antonio, San Marcos and Round Rock. The site is aesthetically attractive, helpful and accessible.

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