This will come as no surprise to anybody who regularly travels through these areas, but the far Northwest side of San Antonio and the Vance Jackson corridor have been listed among the top 25 neighborhoods in the nation for apartment construction over the past five years, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The web site 'RentCafe.com' studied neighborhoods all around the country to determine where apartments have sprouted following the end of the housing crash of the late 2000s, and says fully ten of the top 25 neighborhoods are in Texas.
At least 2600 new apartment units have opened in each of the two areas in the past few years. RentCafe.com says two other San Antonio neighborhoods, Stone Oak and Potranco Road, are right behind, both in the top thirty in the nation.
Analyst Nadia Balint says that has a lot to do with the combination of the booming Texas economy, and the state's reasonably affordable rents.
"This creates a favorable market for the multi family industry, and, with the rents still affordable compared to other cities, it is drawing more renters to the area," she said.
Blint pointed out that San Antonio rents are more affordable than any other major city in Texas, with average rents in the Alamo City still below $1,000 a month.
Several factors have combined to push up the desirability of apartment rental living in the past few years.
First of all, the Millennial professionals who are most likely to participate in the rental market are saddled with an average of $37,000 in student loan debt, making buying a home out of reach for many.
Add to that the collapse of the low end new home market, due to a combination of restrictions imposed after the housing crash and new fees and costs due to everything from local governments to a dwindling supply of workers and supplies.
Also, many Millennials saw their parents lose everything in the housing crash, and they have no desire to become homeowners.
But Balint says there is another factor which is also driving people into homes. She says unlike the apartments Baby Boomers remember from the 1970s and 1980s, which were low end housing for people who couldn't afford to buy a house, today's new Class A apartments are high end and amenity filled.
"Even higher income people, young professionals, renters by choice, people who are looking for a lifestyle," she said.
Balint says researchers recently did a study on who is moving into apartments today, and the results were startling.
"We saw that the highest increase in the renter population was seen in the highest income bracket."
She says many upper income renters are not worried about losing out on the home equity that many people consider to be the basis for wealth building, because they see other investments as being more lucrative than a house in the long run.
As she put it in her study: After “the big housing crash” home buying humbly stepped aside, allowing renting to come out of the shadows, stripped of its low income stigma, all glamorous and hip, making its way into the nicest, most sought after American neighborhoods.
She says while the trend to apartments in places like San Antonio is not expected to end any time soon, she says eventually styles will change and the attractiveness of apartments will fade. But for now, she says expect more units to spring up in places like San Antonio.
READ the entire study: