First Ward Land Prices Are Way Up
Mid 2014 Update: This is an old post from 10/2013. Prices are up more. Top dollar now is about $50/SF…amazing. I guess people love being near downtown and Washington Ave.
Like everything inside the loop or close-in, land prices in First Ward are up…way up. New construction has gone crazy, every block has projects going on.
If you are not familiar with the location, you may drive past it every day and not know it. The heads you see from I-45 just South of town are on the edge of First Ward.
First Ward is along Houston Ave., South of I-10 (below the Heights) and just above Washington Ave. (Below this is the Historic Sixth Ward). It extends to the East to I-45, where the heads are parked.
The Sixth Ward has some of the oldest homes in Houston (older than the Heights even). Because it is a historic district, the homes are remodeled, not torn down. Not so with the First Ward. Many of the homes are just as old, but no protection from bulldozers. Fantastic folk-Victorians that have been in disrepair for years are bulldozed for high density complexes of patio homes. So, Sixth Ward with a few exceptions is a land-play. They do have an active civic group, and this area is now an Arts District. It is rapidly changing though. The location, so close to downtown and Washington Ave, is ideal for people wanting to be close-in. These people like new homes.
In 2011 only a few lots sold in First Ward; nobody wanted them. <$20/SF was the going rate. Last year sales picked up, but prices still averaged about $22/SF ($14-$31/SF was range).
2013 is an entirely different story. Average sales price is about $30/SF ($18-$40/SF), but asking prices average ~$40/SF and some asking prices are ridiculous at $70/SF (asking $27-$70/SF). Location matters of course. The elevation near I-45 drops off drastically, so not as desirable.
Again, like in the Heights, a lot of sales are not on MLS. Builders are buying directly from sellers. Realtors may be involved, but the land sells before it gets to MLS. So, accurate sales figures are hard to determine.
I am attaching a First_Ward_Land_Prices_Sept_2013. These account for about half the reported sales on MLS; the other half were listed a tear-down homes for sale.