Prestigious status

Austin's first $1 million neighborhood resides in this affluent community

Austin's first $1 million community resides in affluent neighborhood

Barton Creek Austin home for sale
This home in Barton Creek is currently priced at $1.699 million. Courtesy of Trulia

Barton Creek has earned the distinction of being the first $1 million neighborhood in Austin — yet another sign of the city’s soaring home values.

New data from real estate website Trulia shows the median home value in Barton Creek rose to $1.02 million this October, up from $935,000 last October. Put another way, the median value of a home in Barton Creek climbed 9 percent in just one year. Trulia says Barton Creek is the first and only neighborhood among 66 neighborhoods in Austin to have crossed the $1 million mark for median home value. 

Barton Creek, one of the area’s most affluent neighborhoods, is a little west of Rollingwood and West Lake Hills. It’s encircled by Bee Cave Road to the north, Southwest Parkway to the south, Capital of Texas Highway to the east, and State Highway 71 to the west. More than 3,000 people live in the Barton Creek neighborhood, which comprises nearly 1,500 housing units in just five square miles.

The median household income in Barton Creek is $150,070, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s more than double the median household income in the city of Austin of $60,939.

“Roughly a 30-minute drive from downtown Austin, homes in this area tend to be very large and relatively new,” Trulia notes.

Cord Shiflet, an Austin realtor who specializes in luxury properties, says he’s surprised by the new benchmark for Barton Creek.

“I’m not sure what would have changed in the past year to get Barton Creek onto this list, other than perhaps the county was able to more aggressively raise tax values,” Shiflet says.

Trulia may be a “victim” of looking at taxable values versus sale prices, he says. Texas is a nondisclosure state, meaning the sale price of a home isn’t disclosed in public records. However, the taxable value is publicly available.

Indeed, data from the Austin Board of Realtors shows a number of residential pockets in the city — including some within the broader Barton Creek area — where median sale prices have been at $1 million or more dating back several years.

Regardless of home value versus sale price, Barton Creek is a “smart place to buy,” Shiflet says.

In Barton Creek, Shiflet says he knows of two owners who’ve sold their homes for less than half the original asking price, and he’s aware of a “spectacular” $5 million mansion that the owner would gladly sell at a $1 million loss. “Barton Creek has some of the most beautiful homes in Austin,” he says, “and with so much inventory and competition, I think there are a lot of buying opportunities out there to be had.”

According to Trulia, Austin was one of three metro areas to join the $1 million club in October. The other new members are Indianapolis and Newport, Rhode Island.

In all, an estimated 2.9 percent of homes in the Austin metro area are worth at least $1 million, up from 2.4 percent in 2017, Trulia says. By comparison, the same figure is 1.9 percent for Dallas, 1.6 percent for Houston, 0.7 percent for Fort Worth, and 0.5 percent for San Antonio.

In September, the median sale price of a single-family home in the Austin metro area was $302,129, according to the Austin Board of Realtors. It was dramatically higher in the city of Austin, though — $365,000.

“So far, 2018 has shown the highest number of sales ever for the greater Austin area, and we’re on track to set another annual home-sales record this year,” Mark Sprague, state director of information capital for Independence Title, said in an August release.