Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Truth About San Antonio Home Sales (Will Set You Free)

527 Berwick Town, Bentley Manor
Sales above $500,000 in San Antonio are a different animal
Today's narrative is that the single family residential real estate market is scalding hot. In San Antonio, the consensus is that less inventory has led to skyrocketing prices. Tales of multiple offers and crazy bidding wars abound. However, when you dig deeper into the numbers, the story becomes more nuanced.

When people ask me how the market is, they nearly always mean "How is the luxury home market in San Antonio?" If someone knows me already, they know that's my career. I list, market and sell luxury homes in and around San Antonio.

Back to the person asking about the market...To drill down even deeper, they usually mean "How is the market for high-end resale homes in Bexar, Kendall and Comal county?" Because they are interested in how much they could get for their home. Guaranteed they have seen in the media, heard from a friend or through another Realtor that it's a big-time seller's market.

I am a naturally optimistic person. I believe there is at least one solution for every problem. However, I'm not a sunshine pumper. I believe in "The Truth Shall Set You Free." Because, when you know the truth, it's much easier to craft a strategy or devise the perfect solution.

So, what's the truth at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2015? I'm not a fan of Nancy Meyers' movies but "It's Complicated."

I heard Dr. Mark Dotzour, former Chief Economist at the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, speak earlier this year and he left me with a quote I won't forget, "If you torture data long enough, it will confess to anything."

That statement resonates strongly with me because of my legal background. When an attorney presents a case, she strives to present the best facts to prove her case while mitigating or burying the negative points for her client. There is opposing counsel working to achieve the same.

But, what if there was no lawyer arguing the other side? What if only one version of the facts was presented? That's exactly what happens with residential real estate data.

The statistics come directly from the San Antonio Board of Realtor's (SABOR) Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data.

SABOR looks at the data and presents it the most positive light to its members and the media. That's part of its purpose so I don't begrudge them that. I'm a member of SABOR myself. But, the local media and national writers (they usually get numbers through the National Association of Realtors) don't have a clue except to recite back the numbers they receive, without in-depth analysis.

8 Arnold Palmer, The Dominion
Sales of homes over $1 million are only one-half of one percent of the market
So, let's examine two ends of the spectrum: Today's market in a relatively strong economy vs. seven years ago at the peak of a recession.

Through September 21, 2015. Strong Economy:
32% of sales are above $250,000
4% of sales are above $500,000
.4% of sales are above $1,000,000

From Jan. 1 - September 21, 2008. Recession Economy:
19% of sales are above $250,000
3% of sales are above $500,000
.5% of sales are above$1,000,000

So, the biggest growth BY FAR in the San Antonio housing market since the recession and today's relative boom time is in the $250,000 - 500,000 category.

And, don't miss the decimal in front of the San Antonio million dollar plus sales. Less than one-half of one percent of all home sales are above $1,000,000.

Sales over $500,000 have essentially remained the same - percentage-wise - for homes in San Antonio. There are more sales throughout all price ranges in 2015 because it's much easier to get loans today than 2008 and the economy is better. That's good news.

But, for owners of homes above $500,000, it's important to understand the small number of buyers that can afford your house. Because then you can solve the problem. Why do those buyers choose the homes they choose? That's a topic I'll write about in upcoming blogs. The Truth will set you free.

101 Powderhorn Trail, Hill Country Village
Amenities like this lighted tennis/sport court can make a difference

Jason Glast, Realtor/Attorney, is one of the top selling residential real estate agents in San Antonio. Specializing in the luxury home market, Jason has been named the number one real estate agent and the number one luxury home specialist by the San Antonio Business Journal. Contact him at (210) 386-1833, or visit his website at

He is an associate of San Antonio Portfolio Real Estate - KW, a boutique brokerage specializing in the high end San Antonio area neighborhoods including Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, Olmos Park, Monte Vista, The Dominion, Boerne, Cordillera Ranch, Hill Country Village, Anaqua Springs Ranch, Shavano Park, Bentley Manor, Huntington, Inwood, Elm Creek and Stone Oak.

1 comment:

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