For first-time (or, really, anytime) homebuyers, the biggest question is: where should I live? In Austin, that can usually be answered with, "what can I afford?" but that can be a bit trickier.
On January 28, real estate brokerage Redfin released their annual ranking of the hottest neighborhoods to watch in 2020. Along with listing the 10 hottest 'hoods in the nation (we'll get to those later), Redfin also crunched neighbors on the three buzziest communities in Austin along with 60 other major metro areas.
To find the hottest spots, Redfin examined neighborhoods with the greatest year-over-year growth in listing pageviews on Redfin.com and talked to local realtors. "Some of the neighborhoods included may not meet the conventional definition of 'hot,'" the company hedges in a release, "but are still trending among homebuyers."
In Austin, the three hottest neighborhoods are located all across the city, with prices ranging from $300,000 to well above $500,000. Interestingly, however, all three also have some of the shortest "median days on market" in the entire report, which is the length of time a home is for sale before it is purchased. Considering monthly housing inventory inside the city limits now sits at 0.9 months, or less than 30 days, expect to act fast if you're looking for a new home in any neighborhood.
This Northwest Austin neighborhood has the lowest median home price ($300,000), well below Austin's median ($317,000), and the fewest median days on market number (6).
"Wells Branch area is hot as a firecracker for investors and first-time homebuyers," says Brandi Wyman, a Realtor with Compass Realty, adding that "the new Apple campus is driving a lot of investor interest."
Though the median home price is holding steady at $300K, Redfin notes that 35.7 percent of Wells Branch properties sell above $300,000 — the highest percentage on the list and a potential effect of investors looking at this red-hot 'hood.
Located north of Austin is Brushy Creek, a neighborhood served by the Round Rock Independent School District. The median sale price in this Austin 'burb is $352,000, though 32.4 percent of homes sold above that price.
As for what attracts buyers to the 'burbs, Wyman says it's all about the schools. "Round Rock has schools folks want and it remains affordable [compared to Austin]," she notes.
This airport turned development on the east side has been under construction for more than a decade, but what has emerged is a bustling community with restaurants, bars, shopping, and an all-important Alamo Drafthouse. Mueller's median price of $578,000 makes it the priciest neighborhood on Redfin's list, but Wyman says its still "a great bet."
"Mueller is still being built out ... and resale properties go fast, often before they hit the market," says Wyman. "New parks and businesses are opening and AISD’s plan for a Mueller school has residents/buyers with kids very excited."
As for the 10 hottest neighborhoods in the U.S., no Texas cities made the list. Instead, it concentrated largely on the Southeastern U.S., with the Washington, D.C. metro area making two appearances, likely thanks to Amazon's HQ2 announcement last year. The 10 Hottest Neighborhoods to Watch in 2020 are:
- No. 1 — Willowsford, Ashburn, Virginia (Washington, D.C. metro)
- No. 2 — Bal Harbour, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- No. 3 — Wildwood, Charlotte, North Carolina
- No. 4 — West Arvada, Colorado (Denver metro)
- No. 5 — Waverly Hills, Arlington, Virginia (Washington, D.C. metro)
- No. 6 — Adamsdale, North Attleboro, Massachusetts
- No. 7 — Poplar Grove, Indianapolis
- No. 8 — West Ridge, Woodinville, Washington (Seattle metro)
- No. 9 — Raleigh, Memphis, Tennessee
- No. 10 — Old Town Rocklin, California (Sacramento metro)