Austin, Texas, may be expanding in every direction possible, but some neighborhoods are continually popular year after year, making them some of the best areas for a stable home investment. Their constant high demand and low supply mean you'll likely see a return when you decide to sell or rent.

"Austin's most popular neighborhoods come with popular pricing," says Anthony Gibson, owner and senior buyer specialist at Austin Properties Group/Keller Williams Realty. "Having that name means that you're going to be paying a premium because it's an area that's been protected in value and keeps increasing. When the market shifts, these areas will be less affected because they're established due to their great schools or proximity to downtown."

U.S. News spoke with a few of Austin's top real estate agents about which neighborhoods are best when it comes to investing in a home in Austin.

Westlake

"Westlake is within 15 minutes of downtown, and the demand is extremely high because of the schools," says Eric Bramlett, owner/broker of Bramlett Residential.

Encompassing the 78746 and 78733 ZIP codes, Westlake has a high price point for single-family homes, starting at $650,000 and reaching into the low millions. However, the award-winning school district and quick drive to downtown have many Austinites constantly vying for a spot here.

[Read: A First-Time Buyer's Guide to Austin.]

Westlake is close to Barton Springs Pool, Hill Country Galleria, entertainment, restaurants and bars, in addition to employers based in Central Austin. Its established, upscale neighborhoods make it one of the most sought-after areas, with homes that continue to appreciate in value.

Barton Hills

"There are many young people who moved to Austin years ago who are now married and starting families, and they're a force in the Austin market," says Carl Shurr, Realtor at Seed Property Group. "They're looking for good neighborhoods with good schools that are close to Central Austin, like Barton Hills."

Barton Hills is close to entertainment, restaurants, Barton Creek, Barton Springs Pool and Zilker Metropolitan Park. Nestled in the 78704 ZIP code, this area has single-family homes starting at $500,000 and heading upward of a few million. Barton Hills Elementary is one of the best and also drives the demand in this area. You'll need to learn this market, but don't hesitate to jump when a home goes up for sale. Many times, homes hit the market on Friday and are under contract by Monday.

"The best investments are areas where you have a limited commodity," Shurr says. "When you have an established neighborhood close to downtown and its been developed, there's no more land, and you have to use what's there. You've got increasing demand, but those areas aren't getting any bigger."

[Read: 5 Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods in Austin to Buy a Home.]

Bouldin Creek

Another neighborhood situated in Austin's hottest ZIP code, 78704, is Bouldin Creek. This peaceful area is a short drive from downtown's restaurants, bars, jobs and entertainment, and adjacent to Lady Bird Lake. Single-family homes here start at about $500,000 and reach up to the low millions.

"You want to catch it before it gets too expensive. If you want to continue to be able to afford Austin at your present income, you really need to buy now," Bramlett says.

Demand is likely to continue in established neighborhoods like this one, with excellent schools and amenities, allowing you to rent or sell at a good price. However, there are only so many houses that go on the market in Bouldin Creek, and because of the large number of people searching, multiple-offer situations are common.

Tarrytown

"Tarrytown is one of the more expensive and established neighborhoods. You'll see single-family home prices beginning at $700,000 up to well into the millions," Shurr says.

A part of old Austin, Tarrytown is close to downtown and great schools. In the 78703 ZIP code, you'll find Lake Austin, many trees, houses with character and a neighborhood that's pedestrian-friendly.

Prices are still higher in this area, and it's also a matter of timing. If you're serious about buying here, you'll need to pay attention to the market as homes can go under contract in a couple days. This is especially true in the summer, when homes move the fastest.

[Read: 5 Things to Do Now Before Selling Your Austin House This Spring.]

Circle C Ranch

"Circle C is a name brand that most people know in the Southwest Austin area, that the good schools and parks in this family-driven area make it a wonderful place to be," Gibson says. There's "high demand here from families who want their kids in those schools whether it's buying or renting."

The Circle C area includes ZIP codes 78739 and 78749, and features large, planned communities with green spaces, pools and courts for recreational sports. Although it's farther from downtown, it still surrounds MoPac (Highway 1), which provides easy access to Central Austin. The neighborhood is also near Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, restaurants and Whole Foods.

Single-family homes in Circle C Ranch average about $450,000. Gibson recommends finding an agent who specializes in these areas and who can find pocket or off-market listings to help you get in the door before the long buyer line starts.

Looking for a real estate agent in Austin? U.S. News' Find an Agent tool will match you with the person who's most qualified for the job.

Tags: Austin, real estate, housing market, existing home sales, home prices, new home sales


Mandy Ellis is an Austin-based freelance writer who has contributed to the real estate, travel and loans sections of U.S. News since 2016. She has lent her expertise to publications including AFAR, The Costco Connection, Realtor Magazine Online, FSR, QSR, Restaurant Business, Restaurant Hospitality, Pizza Today, Tasting Table, Yahoo Finance and CultureMap Austin and for the brands eBay, LendingHome, Brit + Co, SolarStory and Hey Cupcake.

Ellis graduated cum laude with a bachelor's in English from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) and is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Texas Freelance Association, Freelance Austin, and Women Communicators of Austin. You can find her on LinkedIn and her website, or email her at mandy@mandyellis.com.

Recommended Articles

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

Devon Thorsby | Jan. 18, 2019

Follow these steps to start on the path to being a successful real estate agent.

How to Find a Real Estate Agent

Devon Thorsby | Jan. 18, 2019

Here's how to find a real estate agent to help you confidently navigate a home sale or purchase.

How to Break Your Apartment Lease

Devon Thorsby | Jan. 18, 2019

Five options for you to end your rental contract before time is up.

How to Back Out of a Real Estate Deal

Devon Thorsby | Jan. 18, 2019

Here are your best options for bowing out of a home purchase or sale without ruffling too many feathers.

The Best Places to Live in Florida

Devon Thorsby | Jan. 18, 2019

See how the most populous metro areas in the Sunshine State compare to each other.

6 Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Devon Thorsby | Jan. 16, 2019

Keep these deductions in mind as your prepare for your next tax filing.

How to Tackle Major Home Winter Repairs

Devon Thorsby | Jan. 11, 2019

Avoid a bigger disaster when faced with freezing pipes, a broken window, power outage or roof leak.

Clever Tricks to Rejuvenate Your Home

Sally Forster Jones | Jan. 9, 2019

Simple improvements that will make your living space feel new again on a small budget.

The Best Places to Live in Tennessee

Devon Thorsby | Jan. 9, 2019

Find out how the largest metro areas in Tennessee compare.

The Best Free Interior Design Apps

Devon Thorsby | Jan. 4, 2019

These apps help you brainstorm, plan, budget and even set up your next renovation or room design.

2019 Millennial Homebuying Trends

Maryalene LaPonsie | Jan. 4, 2019

Millennials have a reputation for shunning homeownership, but that may change this year.

6 Great Tiny House Communities

Devon Thorsby | Jan. 3, 2019

People are attracted to tiny living for different reasons. Find out what makes these communities flourish.

The Best Places to Live in Texas

Devon Thorsby | Dec. 21, 2018

See how metro areas in the Lone Star State stack up.

How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

Devon Thorsby | Dec. 20, 2018

Whether it's by commission or a flat fee, you should know how your agent is compensated.

What to Do With Real Estate in a Divorce

Devon Thorsby | Dec. 19, 2018

Consider these options before making a decision that could leave you financially or legally strapped.

How to Build a Wine Cellar at Home

Sally Forster Jones | Dec. 18, 2018

Before you start building wine racks, keep these important details in mind.

Why You Should Sell Your Home in 2019

Devon Thorsby | Dec. 14, 2018

Housing markets may not be as hot as previous years, but selling now could be your best bet.

The Best Apps for House Hunting

Devon Thorsby | Dec. 12, 2018

These apps will have you scrolling and swiping listings to your heart’s content.

Curb Appeal Tricks to Attract Homebuyers

Sally Forster Jones | Dec. 11, 2018

These simple home improvement projects will have people excited to tour your home.

Housing Market Expectations in 2019

Devon Thorsby | Dec. 7, 2018

Changes in mortgage rates may cause homebuyers and sellers to hesitate about jumping into the market, while renters benefit from higher homeownership rates.