Opening the door to wealth

San Antonio unlocks steady growth for middle-class homeowners, says new report

San Antonio unlocks steady growth rate for middle-class homeowners

Money stacked next to a house
If you own a home in San Antonio, you're getting your money's worth. Photo by Sawitree Pamee/EyeEm, Getty Images

The ranks of middle-class homeowners in the San Antonio area grew by well over 10,000 from 2010 to 2020, according to a new study by the National Association of Realtors.

During the 10-year period, the San Antonio metro area tacked on a total of 12,922 new middle-income, home-owning households, says the study. That puts the metro at 32nd among the housing markets studied for middle-class housing growth. 

Several other Texas metros, meanwhile, topped the list, each adding more than 50,000 middle income, home-owning households from 2010-2020. 

Austin ranked second in the U.S. with 61,323 households and was followed by fourth-ranked Dallas-Fort Worth (53,421) and fifth-ranked Houston (52,716). Looking at the amount of housing wealth created for the middle class, DFW gained $75 billion, with Houston at $51.5 billion, Austin at $45.4 billion, and San Antonio at $17.4 billion. 

“Middle-income households in these growing markets have seen phenomenal gains in price appreciation,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, says in a news release. “Given the rapid migration and robust job growth in these areas, I expect these markets to continue to see impressive price gains.”

Among middle-class homeowners in big and small areas alike, housing wealth rose $2.1 trillion from 2010 to 2020, with the number of middle-income, home-owning households expanding by 980,000.

“Owning a home continues to be a proven method for building long-term wealth,” Yun says. “Home values generally grow over time, so homeowners begin the wealth-building process as soon as they make a down payment and move to pay down their mortgage.”

Nationally, a typical U.S. homeowner who bought an existing single-family home 10 years ago at the median sales price of $162,600 is likely to have accumulated $229,400 in housing wealth, the study says. Of that gain, 86 percent is tied to price appreciation.

“Homeownership is rewarding in so many ways and can serve as a vital component in achieving financial stability,” says Leslie Rouda Smith of Plano, president of the National Association of Realtors and a broker associate at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate in Dallas. “Now, we must focus on increasing access to safe, affordable housing and ensuring that more people can begin to amass and pass on the gains from homeownership.”