Real estate across the nation is in a time of flux. Buyers complain home values are climbing faster than income, making it too expensive for families to buy in many areas. Loans are harder to obtain, so it can be tough to buy a home without good credit. Laredo real estate trends indicate things are different here. You can still buy a great home for under $200,000. WestWind Homes even has a Home Buyer’s program that will help get your credit ready for financing. Here’s why we’re so excited to be involved in Laredo real estate.
Employment Growth Drives Home Buying
Across the nation, unemployment is at historic lows, and that’s true in Laredo as well. More Americans are working for more money, and that’s good for everyone. At the end of spring 2019, Laredo was at a new high with 106,700 employed individuals working at nonfarm employment. That’s almost 2,000 more jobs than there were at the same time the previous year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a high number of those jobs were in education, health services and government. A whopping 31,300 was in trade, transportation and utilities.
Leisure and hospitality workers make up another 10 percent of the workforce. Some of the area’s top private and public sector employers are the following:
- Laredo Medical Center
- Doctor’s Hospital
- Union Pacific Railroad
- Target Greatland
- United Independent School District
- Laredo Independent School District
- Texas A&M International University
See more area employers from the Laredo Economic Development Corporation.
When people have steady work and an income they can expect to continue to increase, that stability drives home buying. A home isn’t just a place to live, it’s an investment in long-term wealth.
Laredo and US-Mexico Trade
Laredo’s location makes it a pivotal point for trade with Mexico. Last year, more than 97 percent of trade with Mexico went through Port of Laredo. Here are a few more statistics that show just how important Laredo is to our nation’s economy.
- Laredo is second in the nation for imports and exports overall dollar value, making $327 billion in trade with the world in 2018.
- Laredo is #1 in the nation for vehicle part exports.
- Local employers own more than 40 million square feet of logistical space, much of which is in the Pan American Business Park.
Jobs associated with oil and natural gas exploration have also shown steady growth, since Laredo wasn’t notably affected by the 2015-16 oil bust. Professional and business services showed a 2.7 percent growth in the first quarter of 2019.
Laredo Quality of Life
Laredo itself has always been a town rich in history and culture. As it continues to grow, residents gain even more opportunities for shopping, dining, education and entertainment. High quality of life improves home values.
Sames Auto Arena is a multi-purpose venue that draws people from all over for sporting events and concerts. It provides space for events like the Laredo International Sister Cities Festival and Disney on Ice Dream Big, and entertainers like El Fantasma and Gloria Trevi. The smaller Uni-Trade Stadium is a baseball park in Laredo available for soccer leagues, baseball games and other sports.
Beautiful Lake Casa Blanca has more than 1,400 acres for bass fishing, watersports and bird watching. Golf enthusiasts enjoy both the par 72 Max Mandel Golf Course and the 18-hole championship Laredo Country Club golf course. Laredo Center for the Arts showcases the works of prominent local artists and displays a permanent collection of works from Texas and beyond.
The key to predicting what comes next for Laredo real estate lies in getting an accurate picture of Laredo households. Singles buy homes, but couples and families account for the majority of home sales in the Laredo area, just like they do in the rest of the nation. However, Laredo has a distinctive population, and that impacts the types of homes that sell best.
The overall population has grown 1.5 percent since 2010 to around 268,700 residents. Strong employment growth and a low cost of living draws people from surrounding communities and even outside the state.
Laredo has a larger household size than other parts of the nation, with 35.2 percent of the population under 18. That’s much higher than the national average of 24 percent. Laredo residents are younger overall, with a median age of 27.9 years. That’s in comparison to the national average of 37.2 years, a significant gap. Population growth is forecast to increase by around 4,400 annually over the next three years.
Homeownership percentages have declined across the country as lending requirements tightened and it became harder to obtain financing. Still, 62 percent of Laredo residents own homes. At WestWind Homes, we help residents achieve the dream of homeownership even with poor credit through our Home Buyer’s Club.
Laredo Home Prices
Rising wages and steady hiring are causing real estate values to climb throughout Laredo. Along the border, Texas registered a 5.1 percent increase in housing sales. Early this year, Laredo activity skyrocketed 20.1 percent as sales for homes costing more than $200,000 continued to increase.
The median home price in Laredo varies depending on who supplies the data. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University puts median Laredo home values at $185,600 while Zillow Home Values says the average value of homes currently listed is $189,000. The Department of Housing and Urban Development predicts over the next three years, home demand will be concentrated in the $130,000-$199,000 range.
Most In-Demand Laredo Home Types
WestWind Homes has been one of the most successful Laredo home builders for decades because we live and work here, and we understand what’s important to Laredo residents.
Laredo residents on average are younger, which means they haven’t had as long to pay off college loans or accumulate savings as people in other parts of the nation. They have a steady income, but they’re still establishing themselves in their career field. That means they want affordable housing.
Laredo households have young children, so things like education opportunities, medical care and family-friendly entertainment are important to them. Since there are more people in the average household, families need spacious homes with room for their family to grow. They want safe neighborhoods in locations close to groceries, jobs and schools.
Parents want homes built for family life. They choose open floorplans so they can supervise little ones in the living room and help with homework at the bar while cooking in the open concept kitchen. They want space for outdoor entertaining and back yards that are fully fenced for privacy and security.
Younger buyers don’t have a lot of disposable income, so they’re interested in spending smart. They prioritize energy-efficient homes that don’t cost a lot to heat and cool. They’re more plugged in to technology than previous generations, and they want homes built for the devices that now are integral to everyday life. They’re savvy investors, choosing to buy in areas where Laredo is most likely to show continued growth.
Most Improved Housing Market
The Laredo Real Estate market is hot. Homes sell faster here than in nearby areas. Laredo homes for sale sold in an average of 62 days early this year, compared to 84 days on the market in McAllen, 74 days in El Paso and 120 days in Brownsville.
Months of inventory is a number real estate agents use to indicate how long it would take to sell all the homes currently on the market. If there are 0-4 months of inventory, that means homes are selling quickly, so sellers make more. If there are 5-8 months of inventory, the market is balanced. When there are nine or more months of inventory, there are more available homes than there are buyers, which isn’t very good for home values.
Right now, Laredo has four months of inventory. The demand for property exceeds supply, especially for homes below $200,000.
Best Laredo Real Estate Opportunities
Whether you’re a resident looking for a new home in Laredo or an investor looking for a safe bet, WestWind Homes offers some of the best Laredo real estate opportunities. We have spacious new homes with the neighborhood amenities and educational opportunities families are looking for in areas like these:
- AltaVista at Escondido – You’ll find this community on the shores of Lake Casa Blanca with walking trails and a greenbelt nature area. There’s endless opportunity for outdoor adventure, but it’s also conveniently located with loop 20 Access, near Texas A&M International and close to Laredo International Airport.
- Emerald Riverview – This master-planned community feels like country living, but it’s minutes from shopping, I-35, Loop 20 and the Max Mandel Golf Course. Spacious homes are available for quick move-in.
- Green Ranch – Choose one of 10 flex floorplans and build your dream home or choose from move-in ready homes close to Fortune 500 employers, the Fire and Law Enforcement Training Facility, the Pan American Business Park and I-35.
- Hilltop Townhomes – Not everyone wants to care for a large house and yard. Hilltop Townhomes provide affordable luxury within walking distance of top area shopping and dining.
- Lagos Del Valle – This master planned community is in East Laredo, close to Bob Bullock Loop and 359. Residents love its proximity to City Annex Hall, the UISD Student Activity Center, Stat Emergency Center and Loop 20.
- Lomas Heights – WestWind Homes offers new homes starting in the $160s in one of the fastest-growing areas of Laredo. The community is conveniently situated between I-20 and Highway 83, with Laredo Community College South and Cuatro Vientos just around the corner.
New Homes for Sale in Laredo
WestWind Homes has been building on the banks of the Rio Grande since 1993. We’ll help you find and purchase the Laredo real estate of your dreams. Contact us today to request tours, receive brochures, sign up for our newsletter or let us know how we can help in your search.