Comment of the Day: The Boom in Spring Branch

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE BOOM IN SPRING BRANCH Illustration of Spring Branch Home“This part of Spring Branch has seen the median listing price go up from ~$150k to ~$250k over the past two years. Listings all over SB get multiple cash offers on the first day; a $400k listing will get bid up well into half-mil territory by week’s end. If this ball keeps rolling, we could start to see the first teardowns north of Long Point before the end of the year. Decision, decisions . . . best to buy now, or sit tight and wait for the pop?” [Rodrigo, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Auto Air] Illustration: Lulu

16 Comment

  • Frankly, I’m surprised it took so long for SB to take off–it’s a great location, sure a lot of the homes are ranchers and you have to squeeze out all the undesirables who all but ruined SB–it was on the cusp of barrio at one time–no more—and we are all thankful for that fact

  • The dividing line, generally, is the zoning boundary for Memorial High School. I tend to believe that this line will always be priced in. However…there are some elementary schools that could be turned around pretty easily. All it would take is a substantial renovation and re-tenanting of two or three apartment complexes off of Long Point and then marketing them to young professionals rather than to poor families. Given the trajectory of apartment rents inside the loop and the amount of new job formation in the Energy Corridor, that’s not at all beyond the realm of possibility; and if I had money to be throwing at neighborhoods in Houston, this one would be way up there on my list.

  • Lots of neighborhoods have seen the same kind of increases in listing values. Listing prices in our neighborhood, west of Meyerland and south of Sharpstown, have gone from an average $160k when we bought in 2012, to $260k today. Robindell, northeast of us, has seen values go up even more dramatically.
    I think this is a result of Houston’s growth. People are being priced out of the desirable Inner Loop neighborhoods like Montrose, Midtown, and The Heights. Many of them are finding new places Inside the Loop – hence the growth in EADO, Eastwood, and other areas east of Downtown. But there’s also a lot of people who are going further afield, to places like the outer reaches of Spring Branch and Westbury. And then there are the people being priced out of Memorial, who are also heading out.

  • People forget Spring Branch was abandoned due the fault line running through the middle of it, you can still see some of the homes sinking and streets/sidewalks way out of alignment ….

  • You’re so correct about the zoning to Memorial, it’s crucial. I’d much rather live in Spring Branch than Sharpstown or Westbury, which are both zoned to atrocious schools and tho I have no children that certainly effects your property value. I appreciate ZAW’s love for Sharpstown, it’s admirable, however most don’t share his love for the mid century moderns nor the feeling of impending danger most feel when they enter that area, it just feels unsafe–quote all the stats you like, perception is everything and I feel safer in The Heights, Eastwood, Montrose, and even Riverside Terrace then I do Sharpstown.

  • *I realize HISD has open enrollment, but try (if you’re white) getting your kid into Bellaire ‘(which, in all do respect to Lamar, is the only HS I’d consider if I had a teen in HISD)–you’d have better luck with power ball.

  • For what it’s worth, real estate listings that are actually in Sharpstown have not seen as dramatic an increase as we have to the south, but they are going up. As I’ve noted in the past, a lingering reputation from ten and fifteen years ago is holding it back: that and the continued surplus of apartments from the 70s in surrounding areas, which are only now – finally – starting to be absorbed into the market.

  • Shannon, Bellaire is no better than Lamar, Reagan, or any other HISD school where parents actually care. We will be sending our child to Reagan or Lamar if he doesn’t get into Carnegie.

    i have a colleague at work who bought a house zoned to Memorial so her kids could go there. After they graduated, she said that memorial was no better than any other SBISD school, other than the kids could buy better drugs there. We have other friends whose kids all went to Spring Woods HS. They received a great education there.

  • As teachers unions like to remind us, teachers have little effect on the statistically predictable educational outcomes of students. That’s why they should be paid more.

    Wait, maybe that last part is a bit of a non sequitur, but that’s what they say. And the first part is true.

  • Shannon: The WASPs only high school mindset is terribly closed minded. I played the system perfectly, graduated from Booker T. Washington HS to go on to Rice and later to BCM.

    Education is what you make it, and the opportunities for a moderately smart kid are way more plentiful outside of the WASP schools than within them. It takes a little bit of creativity and effort, but if I could go back and do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • I wonder the same thing about the boom then bust potential of this recent surge we are seeing. Inside the loop is filling up quickly but once you get past 610, whats the point. Move out to the burbs and enjoy your space and good schools.

  • So I can have the best public schools and all the amenities of being close to inside the loop without an hour drive to get to either? Sign me up.

  • @Johnny B – Are you saying that if you are a WASP, your more likely to get into a college of your choice if you attend a lower ranked school in a lower socioeconmic area? Looking at the grading charts for colleges, you may end up in a higher percentage academically, but you lose points (1-5 last time i checked) based on the quality of the school. I do think there is a 25 point difference though between top 25% and top 10%. You will lose points on race either way, just bite the bullet and go to the new acadameys in the 5th and 3rd ward (First all boys and all girls magnet schools) , rank higher and get more attention from colleges.

  • No surprise that the mid-loop hot spots are geographical extensions of inner-loop hot spots; GOOF, Spring Branch, Willowbrook.

  • Ross, what have you been hearing lately from Spring Woods HS? I’ve always thought that the only SBISD schools worth attending are the ones south of I-10 (Hunters Creek, MDE, Bunker Hill, Frostwood, Rummel Creek, Wilchester, Meadow Wood, Spring Branch Middle, Memorial Middle, Stratford HS, and Memorial HS) and Valley Oaks Ele. north of I-10 that feeds into SBMS/MHS. The apartments that were built in the 70s and declined in the 80s are still killing some areas north of I-10.

  • First time poster here. Just discovered this website yesterday. I have an anecdote about Spring Woods High School to share. About a year ago I was at the high school for a district-wide informational meeting about HS options for parents with middle school kids in SBISD. There were presentations by all sorts of groups on all sorts of subjects, ranging from college savings strategies to career choices. One of the presentations (disguised as an informational meeting on some sort of college-related topic) was actually a kind of promo for Spring Woods. They hosted the event, so I guess they figured that they could do a little self promotion while they were at it. At first, I was annoyed at having been tricked, but by the end of the presentation, I was convinced that this was a decent school. What was most compelling was the “pre ap” kids’ dedication to their school. They spent a lot of time talking about how their teachers really worked with them, and it showed in their presentations. I have a middle schooler currently attending SBMS and we’re zoned to Memorial high school but we live in a dumpy condo with bad plumbing and I’m tired of hearing millionaire parents politely say things like “oh, how nice it must be to have such a small place to clean up” when they drop off/pick up their kids at my place. I’d like to buy a house with a yard someday soon. After seeing the Spring Woods presentation, I’ve added their school district to the list of possibilities.