The University of Texas ‘Invasion’; Houston’s Hottest Neighborhoods


Photo of the Gus Wortham Fountain: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool


13 Comment

  • Spring Branch property values are going to explode in the next few years. They plan to rebuild long point road, and Hempstead highway will be the site of the high speed rail. The starting point of the rail in Houston will be east spring branch making it very relevant to DFW folks living in Houston. The whole area is getting the lions share of growth between 610 and the beltway.

  • Re: 3,000 apartment units downtown; Up to 70 apartment projects stalled
    Well, the 3,000 downtown units will help cool down rental prices (which needed cooling down) and maybe help with achieving the tipping point of enough residents downtown. Just don’t rent to unemployed O&G workers.
    As for the 70 apartment projects stalled: that’s a lot of pent-up supply. I’ll bet the current projects are clapping their hands for this pause – otherwise, their “one month free rent” special would turn into “three month’s free rent”.
    Near the medical center, the Millennium (like its name, it looks like there are 1,000 units) is almost complete and ready to open into the downturn. I’m sure it will fill up one way or another.

  • @Major Market
    Agreed, downturn or not Houston was so lacking in new development, ALL of what is getting built needed to be built…we were sooooooo far behind. The building boom allowed Houston to catch up to where it should have been. So these other delays/cancels are good for now. The pent up demand will fill up what’s already in the works, and the delays/cancels can get after it at another time. What Houston has developed in the last several years has transformed the city, for the better. During the slowdown, we can catch our breathe and savor/enjoy the successes of the recent boom, and regroup and prepare for the next great haul.

  • @Re:SpringBranch. The explosion of Spring Branch (close to Long Point) has been greatly exaggerated for decades and is not going to happen any time soon. The high speed rail IS NOT going to happen, not for decades at least. The reconstruction of Long Point is not likely in current falling tax revenue and general market downturn. The prices in thy area are already pulling back from reidivulous highs. I do see a long term very slow growth of the area, but the Barrio is not running haute overnight.

  • @Commonsense, the rail is happening but more importantly, long point is going to be redeveloped. Basically the heights is developed and people are moving north or west but west they have good schools and north is hisd so they are coming to spring branch

  • There are two Spring Branches: the part zoned to Memorial High and everything else. Most of the SBISD schools in the “everything else” part are still not well regarded, some even considered flat out “avoid at all costs”, mainly because of the existing student demographics. What needs to happen is that enough gentrification creeps in, like what happened in GOOF, that at least one or two elementary schools in the non-Memorial HS zone become desirable. That’s what will really accelerate existing home / lot appreciation. I do expect townhome creep to occur here and there which will also goose things a little bit.

  • Unless you’re a realtor trying to push stale product, comparing The Barrio to the Heights is laughable. Forces that made Heights popular are very different and are in fact exhausted. The Barrio is way to late to the party. What you’re suggesting is completely against all reason and consensus in the real estate community.

  • I wonder who wins? The forces with vested interests in seeing the market crash, or the forces convinced thus is a quick blip on the real estate trajectory.

    My money is on it being borrrrringggg for at least the next year as the city literally freezes up into purgatory.

  • @commonsense while I wouldn’t call Spring Branch the next “heights”, we’re already seeing builders jump over long point for new town home developments. It’s more likely to be developments like south and east of the Medical Center that will be built there.

  • Westbury? With all the recent flooding? Maybe reconstruction will jack up prices.

  • Re: Spring Branch. With the price of oil going where it is…jeez, that could be a reset button for a whole lot of neighborhoods that are driven by people that had been priced-out of their preferred locations or that had speculators following those folks around. Its a little bit difficult to make good projections at this point. However, cyclicality being what it is…

    Spring Branch is an excellent long-term spot to buy and hold. That could be said about just about any residential asset with access to the I-10 corridor puts you in striking distance of a vast quantity of office space which, although a lot of it is likely to empty out, will eventually fill back up. Those buildings are a legacy of a boom, but they aren’t going away. Areas zoned to Memorial HS aren’t going to become any less exclusive, and that means that the nice retail base around there is anchored. Memorial City Mall and City Centre aren’t going to turn to crap. The Heights isn’t going to stop being trendy. Also, certain elementary and middle school districts within SBISD that aren’t zoned to Memorial HS have relatively few apartment complexes zoned in them, so it wouldn’t take too much in the way of future rehab or demolition to transform the desirability of those neighborhoods.

    I see SB as a strong opportunity, much better than the East End or Near Northside by virtue of its location. Just, maybe wait for another couple of years for the market to find a bottom. (For right now, be long gold!)

  • @Gisgo: Meyerland flooded. Westbury not so much.

  • @Re:SpringBranch
    In regards to Spring Branch ISD north of I-10….there’s one elem. school (Valley Oaks Elem on Westview) that is “good”. All of the others have around a 65% or less pass rate on standardized tests. All of the schools south of I-10 are great. The ones south of I-10 and west of Kirkwood are good. SBISD doesn’t have a magnet program so It’ll be a long time (and some apartment bulldozers) before the elem schools north of I-10 turn around.