New built-to-rent neighborhoods coming to Georgetown, Liberty Hill

More built-to-rent homes are coming to the Austin area, which already has one of the highest concentrations of such properties in the nation.

NexMetro Communities LLC aims to construct communities of luxury leased single-family homes north of Austin in Liberty Hill and Georgetown. Construction of the communities is expected to begin at the end of this year or early next year, NexMetro Austin Managing Director Jason Flory said.

“We find that Austin is a great market for our particular single-family rental home concept,” Flory said. “We find that the market indicators really fit with our product.”

The projects are still in the design phase, Flory said. NexMetro uses third party consultants for design, but Flory declined to reveal them. A general contractor has not yet been determined.

The site in Liberty Hill will be called Avilla Vista Ranch, and is located on 14 acres southeast of County Road 266 and State Highway 29, according to an announcement. It will have 150 homes.

The site in Georgetown will be called Avilla Berry Creek, and will provide 224 homes on 25 acres southwest of Berry Creek Highlands Way and east of State Highway 195.

The homes in the communities are detached, one-story homes, Flory said. There will be one-, two- and three-bedroom homes with private backyards and front entries, open floor plans, high ceilings, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and full-size washers and dryers.

Flory could not say what rent in the communities would look like this far out from completion, but he did say it would be market rate.

NexMetro is seeking to develop additional projects in the Austin area, Flory said, with a focus on the surrounding suburbs rather than densely populated urban areas like downtown.

As of January, the Austin metro had 1,390 built-to-rent properties, according to RentCafe. That ranked No. 13 among all markets in the survey. In Texas, only the Dallas and Houston metros placed higher, with 4,290 units and 3,600 units, respectively.

This year, Banyan Residential LLC chose Pflugerville as the site for a 230-home build-to-rent community. In 2021, Houston-based Wan Bridge Group, which specializes in build-to-rent products, announced plans to build duplexes in Georgetown. Last year, Walton Global Holdings of Scottsdale, Arizona, pegged Austin as a target market for its national build-to-rent line.

These built-to-rent properties come to Austin following a report from the Austin Board of Realtors that found that the median home price in the Austin area reached a record high of $550,000 in April. In the city of Austin, the median price of a home ballooned to another record high of $640,000.

Built-to-rent homes can be attractive for a number of reasons, Flory said. They appeal to demographics including young professionals that don’t yet have a family or travel often, people who aren’t interested in the maintenance that comes with homeownership and people who are going through life transitions like retirees or the recently divorced who don’t want to move into an apartment.

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