PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Port Aransas is experiencing it's strongest ever real estate market according to a local broker who credits the COVID-19 pandemic with much of the market's success.
"It’s caused Texans to rethink and reprioritize where they want to spend their time with their families," Keith McMullin of Port Aransas Realty said.
More family time became available as increasing numbers of people worked from home and homeschooled their kids.
But concerns about the novel coronavirus had lots of people reluctant to fly to vacation destinations.
They instead turned to Port Aransas and other drivable Texas beach communities -- and with the ability to work and teach their children remotely -- many of them purchased vacation homes.
“It’s been an incredibly active market since May of last year when Governor Abbott reopened the state," McMullin said. "And it really hasn’t slowed down since.”
The run on vacation homes has driven up property values, and some property owners have passed the increased price onto vacationers who rent their homes.
“I’ve seen it go up quite a bit,” vacationer from the Dallas-area Cody Collins said about the rental rates for units in the Cinnamon Shores subdivision.
The higher rate isn't stopping Collins and his two friends from spending a week in Port Aransas with their young families.
“It’s really really nice," friend Clayton Rainey said. "And the kids love it.”
“I think it’s worth the extra expense to enjoy a good family event," the other friend, Newton Thomas, said.
As far as how long the real estate boom will last, McMullin said he sees the market maintaining a brisk pace for "awhile."
It means more and more part-time residents for his city, which poses a challenge.
“I think the downside is just to make sure that we manage the growth to where we maintain a sustainable community with a great school system, and churches, and civic groups that we’re famous for,” he said.