Let’s take a look at a couple of Austin area subdivisions on opposites corners of the Austin Metro Area and see how each has held up during the downturn of the past couple of years. As reference, both locations are plotted on the map below. Teravista is in far NE Round Rock. Belterra is SW of Austin in Dripping Springs.
Both communities are fairly new with very good, modern amenities, pools and community centers. Both offer homes that would cost more closer in, so these are value driven (more/nicer house for the money) communities and home owners will generally be trading off a longer drive for the lower price (though Teravista has more jobs nearby). Both are located in good school districts. Both have homes that are, on average, about 3,000 sqft in size average (2,743 Teravista vs, 2989 sqft Belterra). Sylvia and I have sold homes in both communities.
This analysis is simply to see if one subdivision has held it’s value better than the other. Sellers have had challenges in both communities, but let’s look at the actual numbers and see how they’re doing.
|Austin Subdivision Sales Comparison|
|Belterra (Dripping Srings) vs. Teravista (Round Rock)|
|Houses Only – Jan through Nov 2008/09 Sales – Data from Austin MLS|
|2009||2008||% Diff||2009||2008||% Diff|
|Avg $ SQFT||$87.98||$89.81||-2.05%||$99.13||$108.17||-9.11%|
|Not Sold %||39%||43%||-9.74%||38%||49%||-28.66%|
|Prop Tax Rate||2.82%||2.83%||2.91%||2.91%|
Number of Sales:
Belterra has increased the number of sales over the same period a year ago. Teravista is down, but at -9% it’s down less than the -17% overall drop the Austin area has seen. Both neighborhoods are holding up well in the number of sales category.
Average Sold Values:
Average sold prices in Teravista are $241,320, which is down 2.37% from a year ago. That puts it on par with the Austin market in general with regard to holding value. Belterra homes sell for an average $296,311, which is down 13.2% from a year earlier, a bigger drop than Austin overall.
Median Sold Values:
Median values have slipped at similar rates, with Teravista holding up better than Belterra.
Sold/List Price Ratio:
Homes in both areas are selling at about 94% of list value, which is slightly worse than Austin overall.
Average Price per sqft:
You get more home for your money in Teravista at an average sold price of $88 per square foot for a 2742 sqft home. In Belterra, you pay an average of $99 per sqft for a 2989 sqft home. The homes are of equal build quality, so Teravista offers a better value in size per dollar.
Days on Market:
Homes in Teravista are selling in 97 days average, 62 days median. Belterra is slower, selling in 111 days average and 77 days median. Teravista is selling faster.
38% of listing in Teravista fail to sell and 39% of Belterra listings failed to sell thus far in 2009. Both are doing slightly better than the 43% average in Austin overall.
Property Tax Rate:
Ouch. Both areas have high property taxes. Teravista 2.82% at and Belterra at 2.91%. In the City of Austin the property tax rate is currently 2.2%. Where I live in Travis County we enjoy a low rate of 1.87%.
HOA Fees in Teravista are $504/yr, in Belterra it’s $425. If you like golfing, you might appreciate the Teravista is a golf course community.
What most home owers care about most is that their home hold it value and appreciate. Neither neighborhood is enjoying appreciation, but Teravista is holding up better. Belterra is closer and more convenient to Austin, but Teravista has more amenities, shopping, etc. in its immediate Round Rock vicinity.Both neighborhoods are great places to live and very compatible with active, outdoor lifestyles. But on holding value alone, Teravista takes the contest.