As we wrap up the mid-year print edition of the River Oaks Market Report, here is a teaser of the demographics in the River Oaks real estate market since January 1.

Origin of Buyers

The trend of fewer buyers coming from River Oaks itself continues. It fell from 38% in 2017 to 26% in 2018, and now is at just 19%. But the West U buyers are back, up from 6% in 2017 to 9% in 2018 to 23% so far this year. Is the price gap between River Oaks and the West U/Southampton area closing? That’s certainly part of it. And we have had several younger buyers tell us in the past few months that River Oaks Elementary is the main reason they want to buy in the neighborhood.

Destination of Sellers

“Where are the sellers going?” That’s a question we always ask when touring a new listing, and you probably do, too. And many times we hear, “Oh, they’ve been working on another house in the neighborhood, and now it’s ready.” Thus we see that River Oaks itself remains the prime destination of 41% of sellers. It’s a number that has swelled from 2018 (23%) and 2017 (30%).

Financing

This is an area that has witnessed some swings over the past 24 months. For example, mortgages were used in 44% of River Oaks real estate transactions in 2017; by 2018 mortgages accounted for 53% of the financing. This year it’s at a Goldilocks middle number of 51%. We also have recently identified a new financing category that we have begun to track: investor money, which was used in three transactions, or 7%, so far this year.

Lot Sizes

As we’ve noted elsewhere, 2019 has been the year of the big lots, with 59% of all transactions in the first half of the year being for a half-acre or more. The percentage breakdown is impressive, sure, and so is the value of that land: By this time last year, the sales of one-half to one-acre properties totaled $28 million. This year, in the first six months of 2019, it’s totaled more than $54 million. We’re on track to a record-breaking year of large lots.