In Texas, Austin homebuyers get the least bang for their buck when it comes to home size, according to new data from real estate website PropertyShark.
The report shows that, among the state's five largest home markets, $200,000 will get you the least amount of space in Austin. At that price tag, you can purchase a house measuring 1,341 square feet in the Capital City.
That's if you can find a house for that price. The median home price in the Austin metro area was $315,000 in the first quarter of this year, the Texas Association of Realtors says. That’s 57 percent higher than PropertyShark’s hypothetical $200,000 home.
At the other end of the scale, however, homebuyers in San Antonio can score the biggest digs for $200,000, PropertyShark says. For that price, you can snag a 3,249-square-foot home in the Alamo City.
That hypothetical $200,000 home actually isn’t far off from the typical price of a home in the San Antonio metro area. In the first quarter of this year, the median home price in the region was $218,250, according to the Texas Association of Realtors.
Elsewhere in the Lone Star State, a Dallas homebuyer can get 1,824 square feet, a Fort Worth homebuyer can snag 2,199 square feet, and a Houston homebuyer can pick up 2,093 square feet. The median home price in Dallas-Fort Worth during the first quarter of this year was $267,500; in Houston, it was a more affordable $239,043, according to the Texas Association of Realtors.
Despite the comparatively cheap home prices in the state’s other big cities, some Texans still find it hard to purchase a place to live.
“Unemployment rates and downward spirals in home values weren’t nearly as bad in Texas during the national economic downturn as they were in other parts of the country. But the state’s large urban areas are still experiencing similar mismatches between housing stock and income as other American metropolitan areas,” the Texas Tribune reported in 2017.
Kaki Lybbert, a Denton Realtor who chairs the Texas Association of Realtors, applauds the robust home sales activity around the state but worries that if housing inventory keeps declining while prices keep rising, “we may continue to see affordability challenges across the state.”
In other words, PropertyShark’s hypothetical $200,000 home could become out of reach for even more Texans.
Compared with how far your money won’t go in New York City and San Francisco, $200,000 homes in Texas are practically mansions. According to PropertyShark, $200,000 will give you only 126 square feet in the New York City borough of Manhattan and just 260 square feet in San Francisco. Both of those homes would be tinier than the average U.S. apartment.
Interestingly, the hypothetical $200,000 homes in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston are larger than the average homes in those areas. Only Austin’s hypothetical $200,000 home was smaller than the region’s average home.
In 2016, PropertyShark reported these as the average home sizes in Texas’ five biggest cities:
- Dallas, 1,433 square feet
- Fort Worth, 1,660 square feet
- San Antonio, 2,175 square feet
- Austin, 2,068 square feet
- Houston, 1,713 square feet
Texans are “lucky to live in some of the most spacious urban dwellings in the nation,” PropertyShark says.