Austin Subdivision Smackdown #2 – Belterra vs. Teravista

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.

Austin Belterra and Teravista Map

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

Teravista Belterra

2009 2008 % Diff 2009 2008 % Diff
# Sold 110 121 -9.09% 87 70 19.54%
Avg List $257,659 $263,562 -2.24% $315,229 $355,130 -12.66%
Med List $256,473 $254,000 0.97% $301,260 $340,094 -12.89%
Avg Sold $241,320 $247,170 -2.37% $296,311 $335,420 -13.20%
Med Sold $236,250 $244,182 -3.25% $284,900 $319,500 -12.14%
High Sold $365,000 $418,500 -12.78% $455,500 $535,000 -17.45%
Low Sold $155,000 $156,000 -0.64% $189,000 $220,100 -16.46%
Sold/List % 93.66% 93.78% -0.13% 94.00% 94.45% -0.48%
Avg SQFT 2743 2752 -0.33% 2989 3101 -3.75%
Med SQFT 2732 2729 0.11% 2830 3182 -12.44%
Avg $ SQFT $87.98 $89.81 -2.05% $99.13 $108.17 -9.11%
Avg DOM 97 84 15.48% 111 121 -9.01%
Median DOM 62 77 -19.48% 77 89 -15.58%
# Expired 29 37 -21.62% 17 29 -70.59%
# Withdrawn 42 56 -25.00% 37 39 -5.41%
Not Sold 71 93 -23.66% 54 68 -25.93%
Not Sold % 39% 43% -9.74% 38% 49% -28.66%
Prop Tax Rate 2.82% 2.83%
2.91% 2.91%
Annual HOA $504 $504
$425 $425

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.

Not Solds:
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:
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.

4 thoughts on “Austin Subdivision Smackdown #2 – Belterra vs. Teravista”

  1. Steve,

    Interesting post. I was initially a little surprised Teravista came out as well as it did, as the Round Rock area has seen a lot more foreclosure activity than SW Austin / Dripping. Plus it’s evident from reading your blog that you are very much a S/SW Austin fan (not without reason).

    I think the two key factors aiding Teravista are jobs and transportation. I’m a big SW Austin fan myself, but I cannot imagine commuting in from Belterra on a daily basis to the major job centers of Austin. A friend of mine moved out there this summer, and I started hearing the complaints about getting to his office in the 183/Duval area almost immediately. Belterra is ~17 miles to downtown, vs. 25 for Teravista. However, that 17 miles has many more miles of non-highway driving, with few alternative routes. I’m not a fan of paying the 130 tolls, but at least you have several alternative routes from the RR area. When you start considering distances/travel times from other major job centers (RR, Arboretum, Parmer), the advantage definitely goes to Teravista.

    Thanks for the interesting posts,

  2. What do you think of number 10 on this list?

    December 07, 2009
    Tampa Bay homes still overpriced. So says Forbes
    Despite 40 percent price declines, Tampa Bay real estate still needs a haircut. So says Forbes, which published a list of metro areas where real estate remains overpriced:

    1. Orlando
    2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach
    3. Jacksonville, Fla.
    4. Baltimore-Towson
    5. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet
    6. San Antonio, Texas
    7. Denver-Aurora
    8. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
    9. Indianapolis-Carmel
    10. Austin-Round Rock
    Forbes came by its rankings using a stew of several statistics: prices reductions, list price vs. closing price, days on market and price forecasts.

  3. Hi Tim,

    I was somewhat surprised too. I thought Belterra would have held up better.

    Sarah, I think Forbes is nuts if they think Austin is the 10th over-priced market in the US. It’s simply not true. Beware such articles.


  4. Hard to imagine how Forbes could calculate this based on days on market and “price forecasts”. One thing for buyers to consider is that they are using the entire Austin-Round Rock metro area. Homes in east Round Rock are facing a very different market than homes in central Austin.


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