• The median price per square foot for a home in the urban core is $198.

  • The median price per square foot for a home in the Houston metro is $96.
  • More than 5,000 existing homes sell annually in greater Katy and the Spring region.

A significant volume of homes purchased last year in the greater Houston metro were located far afield from the city’s “urban core.”

According to Redfin, a home purchased in 2015 was a median distance of 20.6 miles away from the core, which we’ll assume to include all communities within the Interstate 610 (I-610) Loop.

This news should come as no surprise to Houston agents, as a number of markets more than 20 miles from I-610 have historically accounted for a high percentage of Houston’s overall existing home sales.

Top producing submarkets

Located at least 27 miles from I-610, the Woodlands accounted for 2,077 existing sales during a recent 12-month period. Each more than 20 miles from the core, Spring, greater Katy, League City and Cypress accounted for a more than 15,000 existing sales combined, with Spring and Katy boasting totals of roughly 5,000 and 5,300, respectively.

Missouri City, Pearland and Sugar Land represent three other submarkets that account for a noticeable amount of sales. These cities are roughly 10 to 15 miles outside the core. Pearland and Sugar Land recently each contributed around 2,300 sales.

Redfin data suggest more people are purchasing further out from the core because of home prices.

The median price per square foot for a home in the urban core is $198, but that price sits at $96 when looking at the Houston metro. Of the 31 metros analyzed by Redfin, the Houston metro had the third lowest price per square foot, only outdone by Cincinnati ($54) and Atlanta ($86).

However, it’s worth noting that a number of luxury homes and master-planned communities exist in the submarkets previously mentioned — take, for example, the Woodlands and greater Kay.

While some Houston residents may be moving further out there also exists a movement of educated millennials looking to move into the city’s core.

The recent data also pointed to Austin as a market where a more noticeable shift to the suburbs is occurring.

The median distance of a home sold last year from the city’s urban core was 14.8 miles, up nearly 2 miles from 2011.

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