West University Place – Houston Neighborhood Profile
The City of West University Place with its tree canopied streets has been consistently ranked as one of the best place to live in Texas and the United States. This affluent story-book town hosts some of the finest subdivisions within the inner loop of the 4th largest City in the United States.
Named for its location adjacent to Rice University, West University Place is an independent city within the City of Houston with its own police, fire and zoning ordinances.
West University Place also known as West University or West U offers safety, great schools, parks and prime location, just 6 miles from downtown Houston. The 77005 zip-code is designed to be a pedestrian friendly neighborhood, where bikers, joggers and walkers have easy access to Rice University and numerous parks in the area. West U residents can enjoy strolling through Rice Village, an upscale walk-able shopping hub with trendy eateries and known as one of Houston’s premier shopping districts.
In 2018, West U was ranked No. 1 in the “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live” by 24/7 Wall Street. A major factor that contributed to this City topping the list was its low crime rate. The 2 square mile area has its own Police Department with approximately 35 employees with significantly low crime rate in comparison to the Greater Houston area and the national average. The West U Elementary is one of the top ranked schools in the country.
Unlike the City of Houston, this city has strict zoning where the primary land use is detached single family homes. Office buildings and apartment developments are prohibited, and a very small percentage is commercial, which is neighborhood shopping. There are approximately 1,300 single family homes with a median age of 30 years.
Prices in this neighborhood range from $400,000 to $5.9 million, with a median price of $1.3 million and median days on market of 39. A look at home sales over the past ten year period shows reasonably consistent inventory with a steady increase in prices. The following graph shows prices in tighter clusters around $1 million from 2009 to 2014. Newer construction homes (built after 2015) have a median sales price of $1.8 million. Land values are at a premium with the trend of razing lower priced homes in favor of new custom built homes. There is currently a four-month supply of homes on the market, based on the past year absorption rate with a median asking price of $1.5 million.
Some of the best homes for sale within Houston are located in West U. The area has convenient access to the Houston central business district and other area employment centers including the Texas Medical Center, Rice University, Greenway Plaza, The Galleria and major employers located along the 610 South Loop and Southwest Freeways. If you are looking for a unique bedroom community nestled in a mecca of Houston’s cultural center, you will find it here. The nearby museum district, fine dining, ballet, sports arena, and other activities are within easy reach.
Certified Residential Appraiser, Gynell has a diverse appraisal background covering Commercial, Residential, Rural, Complex and Luxury Properties as well as National Appraisal Review work in the secondary Market. She began her Appraisal training in Oklahoma in 2001 covering Rural and Commercial Properties. With several years as a National Review Appraiser at Fannie Mae and other big banks, Gynell has keen insight into the secondary market guidelines and requirements.