Scarborough Lane Development's Sunfield neighborhood in Buda is the fastest growing growing community in the entire Austin-Round Rock metro.

Austin Business Journal reports, "Buda’s Sunfield is the fastest-growing neighborhood in the metro, nabbing the top spot after leapfrogging from the No. 8 position in 2023. See the list below this article.

Scarborough Lane Development’s Sunfield, a 2,795-acre master-planned community, earned first place on Austin Business Journal’s latest list of fastest-growing neighborhoods with 470 home starts last year. The list is based on data from real estate company Zonda.

There are eight homebuilders active in Sunfield, where homes can be purchased at prices much lower than the average home in the metro.

While Sunfield’s 470 home starts was an increase over the 291 home starts reported on our 2023 list, many neighborhoods saw a decrease in home starts, and the metro overall saw a nearly 30% decrease in home starts, according to Zonda data.

But homes aren’t just being built in Sunfield, they’re being sold. The neighborhood saw 303 closings last year, and some of the homes are affordably priced, ranging from $280,000 to around $700,000. According to the Austin Board of Realtors, in February the median sales price of a home in the metro was $443,065. It was $385,000 in Hays County, where Sunfield is located.

Work is being spread around in Sunfield. Active homebuilders include Brightland Homes, CastleRock Communities, Centex Homes, Chesmar Homes, David Weekley Homes, Gehan Homes, Pulte Homes and Taylor Morrison.

On the northern end of the metro, Liberty Hill’s Santa Rita Ranch ranked second and saw an increase in home starts last year, but came short of topping Sunfield with 460 home starts — just 10 shy of matching the top spot. The neighborhood is consistently one of the fast growing in the metro, earning the No. 1 ranking on our 2022 list, as well being named the best-selling neighborhood in the metro multiple times.

Sonterra in Jarrell was the third fastest growing neighborhood, securing the spot with 389 homes starts.

Overall, 2023 saw a decline in new home starts across the metro. In 2022 there were 21,502 starts compared to 15,527 in 2023, a 28% decrease. However, Clare Losey, ABOR and Unlock MLS housing economist, said that while there was a decrease, it was not drastic, and was spurred by the increase in mortgage rates starting in March 2022.

“Over the course of the year, mortgage rates essentially doubled, and so heading into 2023 there was just more skepticism, more caution among builders,” she said.

The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage the week of March 28 was 6.79%, according to Freddie Mac.

The decline in starts doesn't bode well for home inventory here, which has struggled for years to reach the five- or six-month supply experts say is healthy. Home inventory in the Austin area is hovering a bit above three months, which on a positive note is far better than during the pandemic buying craze.

Losey predicted mortgage rates would remain steady through the summer, but could decline heading into the fall and winter months, which could restore homebuilder confidence.

“Anytime homebuilder confidence increases, we would expect housing starts to also increase,” she said."


Source: Austin Business Journal

Written by: Cody Baird

Published: April 4, 2024


Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


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