Wide Open Spaces

San Antonio boasts big share of large-acreage homes among Texas metros

San Antonio boasts big share of large-acreage homes among Texas metros

Canyon Lake Home for Sale San Antonio House
San Antonio landowners have space to spare. Photo courtesy of Zillow

Thousands of homeowners in the San Antonio metro area are truly able to appreciate wide open spaces.

A CultureMap analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data finds that 5.9 percent of San Antonio-area single-family homes are situated on at least 5 acres. That's the second-largest share of big-lot homes among the major Texas metros.

Almost 7 percent of single-family homes in the Austin area sit on at least 5 acres. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it’s 2.5 percent, and it’s 2.1 percent in the Houston area.

To come up with the acreage statistics, CultureMap reviewed data from the Census Bureau’s 2013 American Housing Survey (Austin and San Antonio) and 2015 American Housing Survey (Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston). Austin and San Antonio were not included in the 2015 survey.

In 2015, the region including the Austin, Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, and Waco metro areas, along with the Hill Country and Highland Lakes areas, led the state with the most sales of small tracts of land, according to a report from the Texas Association of Realtors. In many cases, buyers are snapping up these plots for vacation properties or second homes.

The South Texas region, which includes San Antonio, also experienced double-digit growth in small land sales. "Likely a continued after-effect of the recent oil and gas boom in the Eagle Ford Shale, a majority of land sales were purchased for urban development in the region," notes the report.

Leslie Rouda Smith, immediate past chairwoman of the Texas Association of Realtors, says: “As our state’s population and economy have continued to grow, so has the number of Texans looking for getaway homes or development opportunities.”

Charles Gilliland, chief economist with Texas A&M University’s Real Estate Center, says investing in Texas land can yield better returns than traditional investment opportunities.

“More Texans are purchasing land for recreational purposes or a vacation property, knowing that if they sell in a few years, there’s a good chance they will see a strong return,” Gilliland says.