Austin's 5 most desirable — and expensive — neighborhoods according to local experts
It’s hardly news that Austin’s home to some highly desirable — and, let’s just say it, expensive — neighborhoods. After all, a recent study named Austin’s own Barton Creek as the most affluent ‘hood in the entire Lone Star State while another found three of the 10 priciest ZIP codes to rent in Texas are right here in the Capital City. The Austin housing market is at such critical levels that just last month the Austin Board of Realtors asked city leaders to build more housing to meet the demand.
And while pragmatically we should probably be more interested in discovering Austin’s more affordable places to live (oh wait, we did!), we couldn’t resist doing a little research into how, er, where, the other half lives.
Using data from Zillow’s median home value index broken down by neighborhood, we dug into the top five most affluent neighborhoods in Austin right now and chatted with some experts to learn what makes these locations so desirable.
No. 1: Barton Creek
Zillow median home value: $1,084,400
With a median home value nearly $700,000 above the Austin median, which is $372,200 right now, according to Zillow, Barton Creek is the hottest spot to live not only in Austin, but in all of Texas. “This is one of Austin's best neighborhoods without a doubt,” says luxury real estate advisor Gary Dolch with Compass, who notes that beyond its rolling hills and scenic beauty, the community's pièce de résistance — the Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa — was recently renovated.
No. 2: Bryker Woods
Zillow median home value: $1,029,900
Just below Barton Creek and well above Austin’s third most affluent neighborhood in terms of home value, Bryker Woods' appeal is obvious: location, location, location. The charming historic 'hood is right in the heart of Central Austin, adjacent to UT Austin, and home to plenty of conveniences (Central Market cheese aisle!) and iconic Austin landmarks like the original Kerbey Lane. And even though it's just minutes from downtown, there’s still a whole lot of green space, including multiple parks and not one, but two, golf courses.
No. 3: Old West Austin
Zillow median home value: $677,000
As Caitlin Boudreaux, a realtor with Freedom 512 Real Estate Group puts it: “Old West Austin is a treasured historical part of our city — and it certainly looks the part.” Beautiful 1940s charmers and historic Craftsman houses sit on rolling yards that open up into treasured Austin green spaces like Pease Park and the Shoal Creek Greenbelt.
No. 4: Zilker
Zillow median home value: $658,000
Zilker might arguably be the neighborhood that most exemplifies Austin. Like the city itself, this South Austin community has grown from a sleepy hidden gem into a bustling hub of activity. At its heart, of course, is Zilker Park, meaning Austin City Limits, Zilker Kite Festival, and the Trail of Lights are all in your backyard. If parking spots had their own values, we’re guessing the ones in this 'hood would be No. 1.
No. 5: Bouldin Creek
Zillow median home value: $611,900
Colorful, updated bungalows from the 1920s and '30s set the vibe of this quirky community that sits squarely in the middle of South Austin’s hottest spots. The neighborhood attractions include everything from a slew of ever-rotating food trucks to “old" Austin favorites like Bouldin Creek Cafe. And despite the new buildings and businesses that seemingly pop up overnight, there’s something that feels refreshingly unchanged about this part of Austin. “This neighborhood is definitely the most in touch with its 'Keep Austin Weird’ vibe out of all the neighborhoods on this list,” says Boudreaux.
“I was really surprised not to see Pemberton on this list,” says Dolch, “and Spanish Oaks and Westlake Hills, too.”
And if you’re looking to get ahead of the market, Boudreaux suggests looking in Crestview and Highland for their location, looks, and walkability. “I could see both of these neighborhoods creeping their way into the top five in the next few years,” she says, “due to the exciting development going on around them.”