Mike Copeland of Waco Tribune online reports that the Waco housing market is white-hot. January and February of 2015 saw a 20% jump in home sales over 2014’s numbers, and many homes sold were on the market for less than a week.
Schroder notes that the economic improvements have led Texans to “feel we’re out of the recession.” Solid employment with several Capterpillar manufacturing facilities and the SpaceX plant in nearby McGregor are big draws for transplants seeking relocation to Waco. The new McLane Stadium at Baylor University, and the development of Lake Brazos into a premiere recreation destination have also contributed to the rise in Waco’s national profile.
Kathy Schroeder, vice president of residential services at Coldwell Banker Jim Stewart Realtors, acknowledges the popularity of HGTV’s popular “Fixer Upper” program for some of the demand. The show tracks the home remodeling adventures of Waco entrepreneurs Chip and Joanna Gaines, which has inspired people nationwide to inquire about the available real estate in Waco.
In its March 6 report, Realtor.com listed Waco as the Number 1 fastest-rising housing market nationwide, beating out Boulder, Colorado; Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington; Hartford, Connecticut.; San Francisco/Oakland, California; and Fort Wayne, Indiana, for the honor. Rankings are determined by the ratio of listing views to number of listings on Realtor.com. Schroeder also credits “Fixer Upper” for some of the increased website traffic.
Though some see the spike in interest as part of a national trend in improving real estate markets, Trammell Kelly, a residential sales specialist at Kelly Realtors, believes that Waco is finally being discovered as a solid, enjoyable community for folks looking to settle down. “Our quality of life and affordability come to mind,” he said. “We’re smack in the middle between Dallas and Austin, and we have assets such as Baylor University, Texas State Technical College and McLennan Community College. Waco is unique, and people are realizing that.”
Whatever the draw, Kelly is very pleased with the currently brisk pace of the local housing market. “I’m seeing people from Temple and Austin making trips up here to buy property,” said Kelly, who added that homes in the upper $100,000 to $200,000 range are popular.” The market is purring along well ahead of the busy summer sales season. “If anybody is thinking about selling, now is the time,” said Kelly.