While much of the country suffers through a difficult housing market, the Gulf Coast City of Port Aransas is in the center of a very active real estate market. Both retirees looking for a beachfront community (one that isn’t synonymous with “steel and glass high-rise”) and investors looking for a winning investment in a difficult national housing market are discovering Port Aransas.
The town of Port Aransas (Port A as the locals call it) is the center of the Mustang Island community. Mustang Island is an 18 mile barrier island running parallel to mainland Texas north of Padre Island, with Corpus Christi Bay to the West and the Gulf of Mexico to the East. The northern end of the island is connected to the mainland by a ferry system run by the Texas Department of Transportation. The trip is free of charge and takes only three minutes to cross to the mainland. On the southern end, the JFK Causeway connects the island with mainland Corpus Christi.
Because of this, Port Aransas is as accessible as it is beautiful. With a life of its own and a lot of character, this peaceful beach community has miles and miles of unspoiled beaches lapped by gentle waves. Port Aransas is an area of immense natural beauty that (combined with the opportunity for a sound real estate investment) is becoming especially popular with Baby Boomers. The island is perfect for people looking for a laid back coastal lifestyle different from the one offered by tall-and-glittering condominiums elsewhere in the U.S. To many, Port Aransas is the kind of place described in a Jimmy Buffett song.
The Port Aransas Housing Market
In general, Texas housing markets are some of the most undervalued markets in the nation. Because of this, the state has been able to avoid “the popping of the great real estate bubble” which has been occurring in growing communities all over the country. Texas homes have resisted the downward trend in pricing suffered by other U.S. states-instead, many coastal Texas communities are showing strong and steady growth.
Port Aransas is one of the strongest of these communities – the active Port Aransas market boasts some of the best value in coastal property in the U.S. While much of the Gulf Coast is dotted with towering condos, Port Aransas is an attractive option for those looking for a quieter retirement (or just a sound investment) in a beachfront home or condo. It’s also an affordable option, as lot and housing prices here aren’t inflated they way they have been in popular beachfront communities in Florida.
Why is Port Aransas a growing community? Part of the reason is that Mustang Island boasts a large portion of the total Texas coastline available for development. Of the 375 miles that make up the Texas coast, 293 miles are unavailable for development, 56 miles are fully developed, and 26 are available for development. Many of those 26 miles lie on Mustang Island. According to Ann Vaughan of the Chamber of Commerce, the area of Port Aransas is “absolutely exploding.”
Communities on Mustang Island
Port Aransas has always been a mecca for those looking for a beach or fishing escape. It has now become a popular destination for second home buyers from Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and beyond. There are many planned communities built and being built all over Mustang Island. These communities range from modest condominiums and town homes to entire planned communities complete with marinas, golf courses, parks, shopping and restaurants.
Cinnamon Shore is a 64-acre planned community which began construction in the spring of 2007. Upon completion, this master planned community will feature about 240 single-family homes, 275 housing units, and 1,100 feet of coast line. The development is designed around the idea of beautiful architecture and pedestrian friendly streets, as well as having only a minimal impact on the environment around it.
Established in 2003, Royal Sands is a 32 acre Mustang Island beachfront community consisting of 90 home sites. The development features family and adult pools, birding ponds, protected dune areas and a beach walk over. Royal Sands provides onsite management, security and maintenance support for vacation rentals.
Newport Beach and Golf
The Newport Beach and Golf master planned community is planned around the concept of a European port city. At the heart of this community will be the Town Center Marina, surrounded by residential villages with luxury homes, hotels, shops, a marina, and waterfront cafes. Weaving through the community is the Newport Dunes Arnold Palmer Golf Course.
The waterfront Palmilla resort will be situated on 30 acres of land and will consist of 94 home sites. The community will feature a mile of bulkhead walkways, floating boat docks and a resort style pool. Construction should begin in the spring of 2009.
Tortuga Dunes is a $100 million community on 137 acres of Mustang Island land with 1,000 feet of beach. This community and the architecture of the homes are based upon a Caribbean feel, full of meandering pathways, tropical trees, and wooden shutters. It will have a simple but eclectic design, with gated access, walking trails, and beach views.
Village Walk, located in the heart of Port Aransas, consists of 98 homes and opened for occupancy in 2007. This community is made up of coastal cottage style homes, with gated access, gulf views, pools and extensive landscaping, all only two minutes from the beach.
Located in “Old Town” Port A, the Mercer Village condos are conveniently located and within walking distance to the harbor, shops and restaurants. Twelve cottages will surround a private pool and tropical palapa. Construction will begin summer 2008.
Researching Area Real Estate
The real estate market on Mustang Island is ever changing. For updated information or to search the MLS network for current real estate listings, visit http://www.TexasIslandProperties.com. To further refine an MLS search to Mustang Island and Port Aransas, enter Nueces as the county and 78373 for the zip code.
by Keith McMullin