WACO — If you get the feeling the Waco area has been growing at an explosive rate, you're not wrong.
There is now a report to back it up. That report comes from the Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com. A metric they've developed, called the Emerging Housing Market Index, places Waco at number 7 on the list nationwide. That's up from 44th last quarter. Realtor Roman Novian with Coldwell Banker Apex, Realtors has a theory that may explain some of Waco's rapid growth.
"I think a lot of people have been working from home and thinking, we don't have to be here in an expensive apartment. They kind of see Waco on the map and start to look at us," said Novian.
Placing top ten on the list means Waco scored high in economic stability, housing demand, and the rate at which houses sell. Novian says the houses he oversees stay on the market for two days if that. It's not just a tough market for homebuyers. Renters are also feeling the strain.
"Home prices are going up which is going to affect rentals as well. You know, and taxes go up along with home prices, so landlords are going to have to offset that by increasing rent," said Novian.
Houses and apartments are getting snapped up lightning fast. Waco is the only Texas town that appears on the Wall Street Journal's list (which mentions the top 20), but the phenomenon is being felt all across the Lone Star State.
"We recently sold a house up in the Fort Worth area, and I know that it's booming right now. Our house actually listed in like seven hours and we got an offer," said Vincent Aldama, who observed that Waco had definitely grown over the past few trips he had made to the city.
Aldama says receiving numerous quick offers on his house-made the selling process easier, but the competition among buyers made purchasing his next home difficult.
"Just the housing market in general, a lot of costs of living have increased because of the high demand for homes. So uh, we were fortunate enough to find something," said Aldama.
Skyrocketing numbers can only last so long. Novian thinks that when the next quarterly index comes out, we'll see Waco slip some spots.
"I think we've kind of got to that point where we're seeing buyer fatigue, where people are just saying we're going to go rent for a while, and then we'll revisit buying later on," said Novian.
That fatigue is certainly shared by renters who have found the apartment market a headache to navigate. Numerous Waco residents have expressed to us over the past few months just how hard it has been to find any vacancies at apartment complexes. Once these trends finally begin to relax, incoming residents should find it a little bit easier to choose a place they can call home.
Number one on the Wall Street Journal's list was Billings, Montana. The creators of the index say the list can be used to identify good areas for people to buy a home.
Waco's score was boosted by the quality of life and a relatively low cost of living, but some may say that having one of the hottest housing markets in the nation may not make buying a house a smooth experience.