Data analytics site NeighborhoodX is conducting an ongoing study of affordability in major U.S. cities. As part of this study, NeighborhoodX examined the most affordable market-rate properties in each neighborhood of those cities.
"Rather than using an index or a percentage of income,” explains company co-founder Constantine Valhouli, “we wanted to look at the prices in a way that would be easily understandable to a layperson."
This chart excerpts part of their research on Austin, looking at the 10 most affordable properties in the East Riverside-Oltorf neighborhood, the central-city area that starts just south of the river and east of I-35 (its northern and western borders) and is bounded by South Pleasant Valley Road to the east and East Oltorf Street to the south.
East Riverside Drive, which cuts through the northern part of the neighborhood, has for decades been a busy corridor surrounded by relatively inexpensive apartment complexes (first primarily populated by University of Texas students, later becoming more popular with working people and families), strip malls, small local restaurants, and drive-through fast food. It also has been home off and on to large music clubs.
Development of the Town Lake trail and boardwalk just north of the area’s namesake street has brought higher-end condo and apartment projects to that area. The hills south of the road, especially close to IH-35, are sometimes called “Travis Heights East,” as they retain the markers of the area’s agricultural past as well as large, single-family homes from three different waves of development in the 20th century.
The study excludes studios, since they tend not to be viable as long-term residences, as well as properties that cannot be purchased with conventional financing, such as affordable/age-restricted housing, and certain listings with incomplete or contradictory information.
The 10 most affordable properties in the area for November were $82,500-$210,000. The most affordable was 1840 Burton Drive #222 (a one-bedroom condo asking $82,500), while the priciest of the most affordable was 1702 Timber Ridge Drive (a two-story townhouse on the market for $210,000).
On a per-square-foot basis, the most affordable homes range from $134/square foot (2124 Burton Drive #134) to $261/square foot (1304 Summit Street #211).