Texas Land Rush: Luxury Property in the Hill Country is Real Estate's Hottest Trend


Is Texas in the middle of a land rush? The Wall Street Journal thinks so, noting that buying land in the Texas Hill Country to build a custom home is one of the hottest trends in luxury real estate.

“Today’s settlers are reshaping the landscape in their own way, building modern getaways with little interest in herding cattle or growing crops,” they said. “These newcomers are attracted to the remote, rural lifestyle within distance of cosmopolitan cities.”

The primary focus of the Wall Street Journal article is on a “new wave of settlers that have arrived in remote central Texas: affluent buyers seeking luxury getaways on hundreds of acres.” Yet the larger Texas land buying trend encompasses parcels ranging from one acre on up in both rural settings and masterplanned communities. In fact, masterplanned acreage community Vintage Oaks, located in New Braunfels between Austin and San Antonio on the Texas Wine Trail, has been the fastest-growing community in the entire San Antonio MSA for three consecutive years.

Small Land Tracts

Indeed, the trend of buying smaller parcels of land continues to gain steam, driving Texas real estate buyers toward the idea of a land purchase and a custom home build.

“The popularity continues to grow for purchasing small tracts of land in Texas for recreation or commercial endeavors,” said the Texas Association of Realtors. “The number of sales and average price per acre went up in 2015, while the average tract size went down.” Sales of small land tracts specific to the Hill Country region rose 20 percent during the time period measured, according to the Texas Association of Realtors’ infographic.

The National Association of Realtors® Land Institute Survey shed further light on the topic, addressing Texas land pricing and buying trends. Published earlier this year, it noted that, “Prices of land sold in the U.S. are up by three percent in the reference period October 2014–September 2015 compared to their year-ago levels.”

According to the survey:

  • “Residential land prices were up by three percent
  • In several regions, cash purchases were common
  • On average, buyers financed 35 percent of the value of the property (or made a 65 percent down payment)”

Driving the popularity

In cities like New Braunfels, the second-fastest-growing city in the nation this year, growth factors like the thriving economy, the exploding job market, the ample amenities, the natural setting, and the desirability of the location are attracting Texas real estate buyers. 

Growing popularity plus advantageous market conditions (The latest numbers from the Texas Association of Realtors show the median home price up, single-family homes sold up, and days on market down in the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA) over the past several years has meant limited home inventory—another reason buyers have been taking a strong look at New Braunfels land for sale.

For more information about land in the Hill Country or throughout Texas, visit SouthStar Communities. Or, click below to download the free Texas Land Buyer's Guide.

New Call-to-action