Generations of Texas families have enjoyed making the short drive to the coast for a Port Aransas getaway. We often go fishing and beachcombing, or perhaps just to escape the everyday hustle of life in the big city. I know for me, I remember counting down the days until it was time to visit the coast. It was always so special for me, and for the longest time Port A was the only beach vacation I had known. It was and will continue to be my mom’s and my “happy place.”
In recent years, Port A has become more than just a vacation destination. It has grown into a hotspot for the second home market. Yes, many buyers purchase a vacation home on the coast to help offset some of the ownership costs, but ultimately, it all comes down to simply wanting a relaxing, beach getaway for family and their future families to utilize for years to come. It’s easy access to a coastal dream!
If you’re thinking about getting a place on the coast, you’re in luck because we recently caught up with Broker Keith McMullin to talk about the Port Aransas real estate market.
Rising interest rates and seismic shifts in the real estate industry have been in the news lately. How are these things affecting the Port A market in 2023?
Well, certainly, the market has slowed quite a bit when compared to the last few years simply because interest rates have climbed so much higher. The numbers aren’t as appealing for the strictly investment minded buyers, but that’s only part of the story. For many years, most of our buyers have been Texans looking for a second home on the coast as a convenient, family getaway. It’s true that many of these buyers enjoy having vacation rental income to help offset some of the ownership costs, but at the end of the day it’s their own personal use and enjoyment that is the primary attraction. Keep in mind that in the post-covid world we live in, we hear quite often from people that they are motivated by the “you only live once” mindset. It’s a topsy turvy world out there, and it’s good to have a retreat on the coast.
What are you seeing in Port Aransas that might be different from what is going on elsewhere in the state?
That’s a great question, it differs quite a bit. The first thing that catches the attention of buyers as well as Realtors from outside of our market is the amount of inventory. In most other markets the number of properties for sale is very low, but that’s not the case on the island. We have more homes and condos for sale now than we’ve had for several years. The other surprise is that thus far we haven’t really seen any large-scale price reductions. Normally with an increase in supply like we have seen, you’d expect pricing to pull back. Hasn’t been the case so far…in fact we’re hitting record high median pricing this year. Part of that is driven by the luxury end of the market which has been thriving as well.
We’re also seeing continued investment in the region. Existing communities like Cinnamon Shore and Palmilla Beach continue to expand. I should also mention that just 15 minutes down the road on North Padre Island there are two very large developments with infrastructure nearing completion. Whitecap NPI and the Lake Padre harbor area will be bringing a lot of attention to our region. These are large communities with planned residential and commercial construction plus a marina with dry stack boat storage.
It was a wild couple of years in real estate and sellers seemed to reap the benefits. Have conditions finally shifted to a buyer’s market?
Certainly, buyers have a lot more leverage than they did a year or two ago. As I mentioned, they are finding a lot more properties on the market. In Port A we have more homes and condos on the market now than there have been in several years. So savvy buyers are finding the property that they love and buying now with the belief that pricing will likely continue to climb in the years ahead, and they can always renegotiate the mortgage rate in the future. Remember the adage, “Marry the house, but date the rate.” That really sums it up.
You sound very bullish on the future. Any closing thoughts?
It’s hard not to be bullish. As long as the Texas economy continues to prosper, Port A will continue to be a Mecca for beachgoers. Some will just come a few days a year while others will call it their home away from home…their happy place. The tourism bureau and chamber of commerce are investing in the DFW and Houston markets to increase awareness there. Those are obviously two huge markets that are largely untapped. So, there are literally millions of Texans yet to discover us. When they do, they typically really like what Port Aransas has to offer. So, if you’re thinking about a place on the coast, get in touch with a local expert that can help you navigate real estate opportunities on the island.
Cover photo Laurie Lyng Imagery.
This post is a sponsored collaboration with Port Aransas Realty.