Homes that feed Bowie High School in Hot Demand

Over the past two years I’ve watched as inventory in one of my favorite areas of South/SW Austin has dried up below the $200K price range. When Buyers have asked “where is a good place to buy in South Austin?”, I immediately say “let’s look at the neighborhoods that feed into Bowie High School”. These include for the most part, Circle C, Shady Hollow, Sendera, parts of Cherry Creek, parts of Oak Hill, and some other neighborhoods.

That’s a quick-and-dirty rule of thumb that usually produces some really good candidate properties and has worked well for us and our buyers and investors. A good investment purchase in this area has been a clean home in good condition for less than $200,000. Currently there are only 9 such homes below $200,000 that feed Bowie High School. And many of those are located in one of the only particular neighborhoods we don’t like (due to the poor/cheap construction of the homes). A couple of years ago when I’d run the same search, there would be close to 100 homes that matched. Now it’s down to 9.

Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the areas that feed Bowie High School at present, as viewed throught the “Hotness” ratio of Pending/Active listings. Any time there are more Pending listings than Active Listings in an area, it indicates very strong demand. It’s a rough rule of thumb we use when calculating offer and list prices, to tell us if a hotness factor ought to be added to the price.

As of today, March 4, 2007, for homes for sale that feed Bowie High:

Under $200,000
Active = 9
Pending = 17
Hotness Ratio = 1.89 (#Pending/#Active)
Home in this range are HOT!

$200,001 to $250,000
Active = 16
Pending = 29
Hotness Ratio = 1.82

$250,001 to $300,000
Active = 18
Pending = 25
Hotness Ratio = 1.39

$300,001 to $350,000
Active = 22
Pending = 24
Hotness Ratio = 1.09

$350,001 to $400,000
Active = 20
Pending = 23
Hotness Ratio = 1.15

$400,001 to $450,000
Active = 17
Pending = 11
Hotness Ratio = 0.65
not until we get in the $400K+ range does the ratio drop below 1.0

$450,001 or more
Active = 37
Pending = 11
Hotness Ratio = 0.30

By comparison, all of Austin has an Pending/Active ratio of 0.46. In homes priced below $200,000, the ratio citywide is 0.63. Areas of South Austin that feed Akins High have a Pending/Active count of 91/101 (0.90) and the areas that feed Crocket High (mostly area 10) have a Pending/Active count below $200K of 83/48 (1.72). Those older homes, especially in the new area 10N are also in hot demand.

In a year from now, I don’t think we’ll see any homes that feed Bowie selling for less than $200K.

Posted by Steve
9 years ago

Steve is a Real Estate Blogger, Husband and Dad, UT Austin Grad, Runner, Real Estate Broker and owner of Crossland Team and Crossland Real Estate in Austin TX.

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AustinContrarian - 9 years ago

Steve, could you post the “hot” ratio for areas 6 & 7, under $400K? Just curious.


Steve - 9 years ago


Area 6 Under $400K
Active = 15
Pending = 34
Hotness Ratio = 2.26 – very, very strong demand

Area 7 Under $400K
Active = 14
Pending = 6
Hotness Ratio = 0.43 – about what we normally expect to see – 2 or 3 actives per pending.

Here are a few more just for fun:

Area 10N – all price ranges
Active = 30
Pending = 38
Hotness Ratio = 1.27

Area 10S – all price ranges
Active = 54
Pending = 92
Hotness Ratio = 1.70

Area 5 – all price ranges
Active = 114
Pending = 69
Hotness Ratio = 0.60

Area HU Hutto – all price ranges
Active = 210
Pending = 95
Hotness Ratio = 0.45

Area RRE Round Rock East – all price ranges
Active = 424
Pending = 208
Hotness Ratio = 0.49

Area RRW – Round Rock West – all price ranges
Active = 293
Pending = 175
Hotness Ratio = 0.60

I think I’ll start a hotness report for all of Austin and post it each month. It’s an important and often overlooked component of properly pricing a home. If there are 29 homes available in a neighborhood, and only 2 pending, you better price that sucker pretty low, and no, you won’t get the money back you the builder for upgrades.

Likewise, we just listed on in area 10S and had multiple offers the first day, and we thought it was priced pretty strong. But there is simply a short supply in the closer areas and there is ample supply in the outlying newer areas.


Katen - 9 years ago

What about Austin High and West Lake High areas? From what I read, Bowie is really not a great high school. It only received a “academically acceptable” rating.

AustinContrarian - 9 years ago

It’s interesting that there’s that big a difference between 6 and 7. I live on the border between the two, and nothing lasts long in my area.

Steve - 9 years ago

Hi Katen,
None of the High Schools in Austin have a rating higher than acceptable. In fact, I think Westlake is the only “Recognized” High School in the entire area. The elementary and middle schools that feed into Bowie are well regarded as AISD schools.

I don’t think it’s the desire to be in Bowie per se that makes the areas desireable, but the lower grade schools and the fact that we’ve just found Bowie High, for whatever reasons, to be an effective search selector.


Steve - 9 years ago

Yes, that did durprise me too – the gap between areas 6 and 7. Of course than can swing wildly month-to-month. The above numbers are just a snapshot in time. But when we consistently see, month after month, areas and neighborhoods with tight supply and rising prices, it tells us something.

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