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These Houston-area school districts have the most new homes under construction

October 2, 2017

Houston developers and homebuilders often consider the quality of local schools when determining the location of their next master-planned community or subdivision of homes.

That’s because for many Houston families with school-aged children, the quality of the local school district and campuses play an outsized role in their homebuying decision. In fact, new homes in a well-regarded school district can often charge a 5 to 10 percent premium over new homes in less desirable districts, according to Metrostudy.

While there are many school ranking systems — from the official Texas Education Agency’s A-F school rating system to third-party lists like — looking at where Houston homebuilders are starting homes is a strong indicator of school quality.

Metrostudy released a list in August of the top home construction starts by school district for the 12-month period that ended May 31. The national housing research firm found that the top 10 most popular school districts among homebuilders drive more than 70 percent of all new home starts in the Bayou City.

These top 10 fast-growing school districts account for more than 19,266 new home starts during the 12-month period. Homebuilders have started 27,114 new homes over the past 12 months in 44 school districts across Houston.

“These are the school districts that are expanding and seeing growth,” said Lawrence Dean, Metrostudy’s Houston regional director.

Fort Bend Independent School District had the most new homes under construction with 3,118 home starts. The southwest Houston suburban district was followed by Cypress-Fairbanks, Lamar, Katy and Houston ISDs, which together posted more than 2,000 home starts over the past year, according to Metrostudy.

Cypress-Fairbanks and Houston ISDs had the biggest growth in new home starts. Cy-Fair added 518 new home starts year-over-year and Houston added 340 new home starts year over year. The majority of Houston-area school districts posted positive year-over-year growth in new home starts, according to Metrostudy.

Exurban school districts are also driving new home starts. Channelview ISD, a suburb east of Houston, had a 82 percent year-over-year increase in new home starts, followed by Waller ISD (49 percent growth) and Spring (43 percent growth).

“Fringe school districts are beginning to see growth, Waller being the best example,” Dean said.

Several developers are venturing into the Waller area in northwest Harris County as Cypress becomes built out. Johnson Development Corp. earlier this summer acquired a 1,600-acre tract off U.S. Highway 290 and Katy Hockley Road, in Hockley, for a new master-planned community.

Katy ISD — despite being a longtime academic and athletic powerhouse in driving new home starts — saw fewer new home starts year over year, according to Metrostudy. Dean attributed Katy’s fewer starts to the buildout of Cinco Ranch and the start of new communities, such as Newland Communities’ Elyson off the Grand Parkway and FM 529.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Harvey is likely to slow down new home starts for a period of time this fall and winter across the Houston area, inclusive of all school districts, according to Dean.

"The impacts are not likely localized to any one specific ISD," Dean said.

Houston school districts with the most new home starts for 12-month period that ended May 31

School District                         Housing Starts
Fort Bend                                     3,118
Cypress-Fairbanks                 2,879
Lamar                                             2,518
Katy                                                 2,289
Houston                                        2,051
Conroe                                          1,935
Alvin                                               1,251
Humble                                         1,204
Tomball                                        1,031
Clear Creek                                   990
Klein                                                  961
Spring                                               716
Spring Branch                              542
Aldine                                               514
Dickinson                                       461
Sheldon                                           449
New Caney                                   418
Pearland                                         362
Magnolia                                        335
Barbers Hill                                  305
Goose Creek                                286

Waller                                              286
Montgomery                                284
Channelview                                272
Crosby                                             263
Willis                                                 236
Pasadena                                        234
Alief                                                   201
Friendswood                                173
Hitchcock                                       105
Brazosport                                       99
Splendora                                         56
Angleton                                           51
La Porte                                             47
Needville                                          36
Texas City                                        30
Huffman                                            25
Santa Fe                                            24
Dayton                                              21
Deer Park                                        21
Stafford                                            18
La Marque                                      10
Columbia-Brazoria                      6
Danbury                                             1
Cleveland                                          0
Damon                                                0
Galena Park                                     0
Royal                                                    0