Tuesday, October 6, 2015

9 Things San Antonio Luxury Buyers Want in 2015

In my last blog, I wrote about how small the San Antonio luxury home market is. Only 4% of homes sell above $500,000 and less than one-half of one percent sell for a million or more.

But, if you are selling a luxury home, how can you put the odds in your favor? If you are a buyer how can you make a good decision for future resale value? There is a very small sample size to analyze but lessons can be learned. Even with so few sales, patterns emerge. So, how can you learn from "The List?"

"The List" is what I call luxury homes that are actively on the market. The few that are chosen by buyers each year made it off The List. An important part of my job is figuring out why. This analysis will focus on the data of homes that make it off The List.  I'll write about the more emotional factors later: Things that make a difference like a great view, big trees and updated finishes.

21260 Fortaleza
Sometimes an amazing view is the reason a house gets off "The List"

I'm going to write about $1 million and higher sales that went through the San Antonio Board of Realtors' MLS. Texas is a non-disclosure state. Unlike nearly every other state, there is no law that forces a seller or buyer to disclose a sales price in Texas. However, most sales, even above $1 million, go through MLS. That's the only way that the real estate industry, the county tax office and the public knows what the sales price is. Though I work a few non-MLS transactions each year, the large majority of sales in all price ranges go through MLS.

I chose not to include homes in places like Horseshoe Bay, Gruene, Canyon Lake, Burnet, Wimberly and Llano. These homes are generally waterfront properties purchased as vacation homes.

There are also sales that are reported in the single family residential MLS that are actually ranches so I excluded them. For example, a "home" sells over $1 million but it has 200 plus acres.

Going back 12 months, there have been 104 sales at or above $1 million.

Here is what luxury buyers want today:

1. Quality public schools

Though many of these buyers will consider private school, the local public schools are important at the very least for future resale.

Four districts dominate the million dollar sales:
Northside: 33
Alamo Heights: 26
Boerne: 21
North East: 14

The high schools with the most million dollar sales attached to them are Clark and Alamo Heights.

2. Neighborhoods with a track record

There aren't many million dollar neighborhoods in San Antonio, so the same areas tend to dominate year after year 
  • 30 sales were inside Loop 410 - Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills and Monte Vista
  • 23 sales were north of 1604 in the Northside School District. Includes The Dominion and Anaqua Springs Ranch
  • 23 sales were outside 1604, further north in the Boerne School District including Cordillera Ranch
  • 16 sales are outside Loop 410 but inside Loop 1604 - Shavano Park including Bentley Manor and Huntington
  • 12 were in the area outside 1604 generally knows as Stone Oak including Champions Ridge, Champions Run, Waterford Heights and Sendero Ranch

3. At least 4 bedrooms

Only five sales over $1 million had three bedrooms. None had less than three. But, six or more may be overkill. Just 17 of the 104 Sales had six or more bedrooms.

4. An existing pool

79% of the homes that got off The List have a pool

22 Sanctuary, Inwood Estates
79% of homes sold over $1 million have a pool

5. At least three Garage Spaces EXCEPT inside 410

77% of sales had three or more garage spaces but of the homes that didn't, 87% were inside Loop 410. So, if you are selling your luxury home in the Alamo Heights area, it's not a fatal flaw to have two or fewer garage spaces. 

6. At least half an acre EXCEPT inside 410

77% of sales were on at least a half-acre lot. But, if you are selling or shopping inside 410, know that space is at a premium so lot sizes aren't nearly as large. 22 out of 30 sales inside 410 were on less than half an acre. 

7. Master Bedroom Downstairs

Only 13% of sales had the master bedroom upstairs. Almost all of these were inside 410. 

8. Big Square Footage

64% had more than 5,000 sq. ft. Only 9% had less than 4,000 sq. ft

9. Newer is popular but inside 410 doesn't conform

55% of all sales are less than 10 years old. 57% of sales inside 410 are at least 20 years old.

228 Cloverleaf, Alamo Heights
New construction is popular especially in neighborhoods where it's rare

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) 386-1833Jason@JasonGlast.com or visit his website at JasonGlast.com

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.

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