Waco’s Diverse Landscape: From Student Rentals to Luxury Lofts

4 minute read

Driven by population growth and economic diversification, Waco, Texas has been experiencing a population boom in recent years. Due to factors like strong educational institutions, a growing tourism industry, and its central location within the state, the city’s population has seen a steady annual increase of 2.07%. This translates to a significant jump of 15.39% since 2010. Notably, Waco’s educational sector, including Baylor University and the Waco Independent School District, is a major employer and economic driver for the city’s residents. An increase in popularity, coupled with affordability compared to other major Texas cities, makes Waco an attractive option for both residents and real estate investors.

Market Trends

Unless noted, data in this report comes from Redfin, reflecting year-over-year changes (April 2023 vs. April 2024).

  • Strong Sales Despite Rising Rates: Despite interest rates hovering around 6.50% to 7%, single-family home sales have risen 6% year-over-year (YoY) to 27,437 units as of April 2024.
  • Overall Sales Up: Total property sales (single-family, townhomes, and condos) have increased 6.1% YoY.
  • Inventory Growth: Active listings have surged 24.8% YoY, reaching 146,512 homes. Newly listed properties are also up a significant 23.4% YoY, providing a wider selection for buyers and investors.

Investor Appeal

Waco’s strategic location, diverse economy (manufacturing, education, healthcare, technology), and affordable housing options create a compelling investment landscape. The city offers a range of opportunities, from single-family homes to commercial properties:

  • Baylor University Vicinity: Ideal for long-term rentals and short-term stays catering to students and visitors. In addition, the newly built Foster Pavilion Basketball stadium located on the Brazos river spells the first phase of an extensive development meant to make the most of the foot traffic brought in by games and tourism.
  • Downtown District: Revitalization efforts from locals and investors alike, Turner Brothers for example, make it attractive for commercial real estate interests. Since 2017, there have been 82 projects started in the district, totaling $2.6 billion in capital assets and providing more than 6,000 jobs to the city.
  • Lake Waco Area: Offers higher-end residential properties with lakefront views and recreational access while still remaining close to shopping and dining amenities.

Hot Neighborhoods

While Waco and its surroundings offer something for everyone, from tranquil lakeside neighborhoods to vibrant lofts overlooking charming, tree-lined streets, these specific areas hold particular promise for those looking to buy:

  • Woodway: This older area in Waco offers residential charm, proximity to city amenities, and good schools, attracting families and renters.

  • Downtown Waco: Revitalized with cultural attractions, entertainment, and a vibrant community, downtown Waco is ideal for rental properties. With nearly $470 million invested across 57 developments, these neighborhoods hold particular potential for investors. But the downtown allure isn’t limited to landlords. Winsome lofts and unique condos offer diversity for those seeking a slower city life along the quaint bricked streets.
  • Robinson: Far more suburban than the previous two, Robinson offers a mix of residential and rural landscapes, providing convenience and a more relaxed atmosphere for buyers seeking to escape the urban bustle.

Investing for Success

Through thorough market research and an understanding of local demand, anticipating future community growth is crucial for any successful investment. With Waco’s expanding appeal and strategic location, the time is ripe to explore investment opportunities in this thriving city. Our team of experienced professionals can help you navigate the market and identify the perfect property, whether you’re seeking long-term rentals or strategic flips.

If you would like to submit a serious inquiry, please reach out HERE or give us a call at (254)759-8027.

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