Kerr County's real estate market is great for sellers and their agents. Quite frankly, it's an awesome market.
If the numbers bear out, 2021 will be the best real estate market in Kerr County's history, with an estimated 860 homes sold, generating more than $360 million in revenue. The average price of a transaction could be as high as $418,000. The average price will increase by about 10% over 2020, buoyed by a strong third and fourth quarter.
However, the $418,000 sale price means most homes cost more than double what the average person can afford. It's double outside workforce housing is expected to cost.
At least among some city leaders, the hope is that the more than 120 homes Lennar is constructing at the corner of Olympic Drive and Loop 534 will spur other production builders to come into the market. That's going to be the big question for 2022 — will another builder put down roots here?
"We have a start with Lennar," said Kerrville City Councilwoman Judy Eychner, herself a Century 21 real estate agent. "But that is a start."
The reality is people won't be moving into those houses until 2023, and the other caveat is they may be renting. Even though some of the homes are under $250,000, there's nothing stopping investors from swooping in and buying.
And surveying the market is just as daunting for those looking for something in that price range. The biggest house for under $250,000? How about a 1,400-square foot home built in the 1930s that needs MAJOR (we can't say it any louder) renovations? That's what you will find.
The issue has been front-and-center in Kerrville City Council discussions for the last two years. It leaped forward with the Kerr County Commissioners Court earlier in 2021 when word came of significant home development in Center Point. The commissioner's court faces growing issues with granting variances to its subdivision rules. Those changes are coming as property owners divide larger lots into smaller ones, attracting more and more out-of-area buyers. In a recent court meeting, county Judge Rob Kelly implied hundreds of subdivision changes could be coming, especially in and around Center Point.
While Lennar will build one of the largest new home developments in Kerrville's history, local builders rush to re-plat lots for in-fill housing projects. Those could equate to more than 200 new homes, but do not expect those to be starting at $250,000 — especially in this market.
For Eychner, the Lennar project marks a beginning but one that may never ease the shortfall.
"So much of this is driven by the market," Eychner said. "The City Council has no control over the market."
And the market suggests another 10% increase in prices — making 2022 a costly time to buy a home in Kerr County.