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Five Reasons Real Estate Investors are Buying in San Antonio

San Antonio real estate investment article - 5 reasons to buy here
Joe Torre, RealWealth Investment Counselor

Joe Torre

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Real estate investors are always looking for the “next hot market” and in this article, we’ll discuss five reasons why local investors are saying that San Antonio (already the nation’s seventh-largest city) is “the way Austin was 20 years ago”.



5 Reasons To Invest in San Antonio in 2024

Reason #1: A Diverse, Recession-Resistant Economy

San Antonio’s top four industries are the military, tourism, education, and healthcare, of which only tourism is sensitive to downturns in the national economy.

The Military

Known as “Military City, USA.”, San Antonio is home to three major bases – Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base – employing over 90,000 military and civilian personnel.

Along with eight other operating areas, these facilities together form the largest joint base operations for the Department of Defense. The facilities house major cybersecurity, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services. Additionally, NSA Texas/the Texas Cryptologic Center are located in northwest San Antonio.

Tourism

San Antonio hosts 30 million visitors each year, drawn by:
The San Antonio Mission (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

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  • The Alamo
  • The River Walk
  • SeaWorld San Antonio
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Education

More than 160,000 students attend the 15 higher education institutions located within a 50-mile radius of San Antonio, including the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA); Texas A&M University-San Antonio, the UT Health Science Center, Texas State University, Trinity University, and others.

Healthcare

The South Texas Medical Center is a major cluster of healthcare facilities, with 45 institutions and supporting facilities, including 12 hospitals, five specialty institutions and the University of Texas Health Science Center, a leading health education center.

The San Antonio Military Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston is the largest military hospital in the United States and the only Level 1 Trauma Center, bringing in patients and their families from all over the world.

Additionally, San Antonio is home to the corporate headquarters of USAA, Valero Energy, NuStar, Whataburger, Southwest Business Corporation (SWBC) and HEB Grocery stores, with a combined total of approximately 40,000 employees.

Reason #2: Job Growth

City planners are making active efforts to diversify and expand San Antonio’s economic base into high-paying 21st century industries that will help diversify the economy and support business startups and spin-offs. These targeted industries include:

Information Technology/Cybersecurity

San Antonio’s unique association with the military and with scientific research has made it a leader in cybersecurity. This specialization creates a foundation for over 80 cybersecurity, defense companies and institutes and includes:

  • Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)
  • Lackland Airforce Base, home to the 24th Air Forces Cyber (AFCYBER), part of the U.S. Cyber Command
  • University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Cyber Security (ICS)
  • Southwest Regional Institute (SwRI), one of the largest applied R&D organizations in the U.S.
  • NSA’s Texas Cryptologic Center

This concentration of cyber and defense technology is poised to attract high-paying jobs and new spin-off industries.

Advanced Manufacturing

This category includes aerospace, auto, heavy equipment and other high-automation manufacturing.

Toyota has a major manufacturing plan that manufactures the Toyota Tundra, and Boeing, Standard Aero, and General Dynamics – all located in Port San Antonio – are leaders in the aerospace industry.

Biosciences and Scientific R&D

Companies like Medtronic, Becton Dickinson and Cytocentrics have major operations in San Antonio.

Clean Energy

CPS Energy is partnering with a consortium of businesses focused on solar, battery, and other power storage technologies, such as solar module manufacturer Mission Solar Energy.

Reason #3: Population Growth

The result of all this investment is that San Antonio’s population – currently at 2.6M for the metro area (MSA) – is expected to grow by 1.2M by 2040, according to the Texas Demographic Center
Most are expecting San Antonio and Austin to merge into one large metroplex, like Dallas-Ft Worth.

Macrotrends.net shows the historical and projected population growth just for San Antonio proper (not including the surrounding metro area) and it’s impressive:

San Antonio real estate investment population trends

Image Source: Macrotrends

The combination of job growth and population growth means that demand for housing will increase, resulting in higher rents and higher property values, which we’ll discuss next.

Reason #4: Appreciation

Zillow’s Single Family Home Value Index shows how San Antonio home prices have doubled in the last seven years alone, dampened only slightly by the recent rise in interest rates.

San Antonio real estate market home values

Image Source: Zillow.com

Job and population growth increase the demand for housing, so it’s no surprise that property values have gone up. This trend is poised to continue into the foreseeable future.

Reason #5: Landlord Friendly Laws

Texas has some of the most favorable landlord-tenant laws in the nation. Texas favors landlord’s rights regarding security deposits and eviction notices and has no rent control laws. It was rated the 4th most landlord-friendly state in a recent report.

Bonus Reason! Property Taxes May be Reduced

The Governor and Legislature of Texas have approved a reduction of property taxes that will average approximately $1,200 per property per year. The initiative is on the ballot for the November election and would be retroactive to all of 2023 if approved by voters. It remains to be seen if the tax break applies only to owner-occupants or rental properties owned by out-of-state investors as well. If it does apply to rental properties, that would be icing on the cake.

Joe Torre, RealWealth Investment Counselor
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