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South Side housing market heats up

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In spite of the pandemic sparked by the highly contagious COVID-19, real estate professionals report that home sales are still moving along at a steady pace across San Antonio, including on the South Side. Stock photo

It’s getting harder to buy a home in San Antonio. Prices are seeing new highs as the competition for properties intensifies ahead of the traditional summer buying season.

Sales and prices rose across many of the South Side ZIP codes.

For example, the median sales price increased 25% to $205,000 for the 46 homes sold in April in 78223, which stretches east of the San Antonio River south from Fair Avenue to Braunig Lake. Houses there sold in an average of 26 days, down from two months the previous year.

In the 78210 ZIP code, partly bounded by Iowa Street on the north and Fair Avenue on the south, the number of houses sold in April doubled to 36 and moved in an average of 55 days, compared to 87 days in April 2020. The median sales price rose 48.6% to $260,000.

This April, inventory in the San Antonio area was 1.3 months.

“I’ve seen a lot of things in 20 years in real estate, but I’ve never seen 1.3 months of inventory,” said Sara Gerrish, a member of RE/Max Unlimited’s Beatrice Briseño Team, with prospects that include South Side properties.

While developers and investors are snatching up land and lots wherever available, including South Side tracts, Gerrish said there is not enough new housing on the market because construction costs are so high.

Materials require more capital, especially wood, which now costs builders two to four times what it used to because of demand.

Overall in April, there were 3,483 closed deals for single-family houses in the San Antonio area. That’s up 27 percent from the same period last year as the COVID-19 pandemic stalled much of the economy.

Even so, the latest statistics compiled by the San Antonio Board of Realtors from Multiple Listing Service data shows a 16% increase from a robust April 2019.

San Antonio real estate professionals say fevered sales, numerous bids and the short amount of time properties stay on the market were partly driven by people deciding they needed new quarters during the global pandemic.

“Almost every sale in the last year was COVID related,” said longtime San Antonio real estate agent Ann Van Pelt.

“People realized they needed something bigger, something smaller or that a pool was a must have,” she added. “I think it’s a very exuberant time in the market.”

See also: Tips for a winning housing bid.

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