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How are surging home prices affecting the fabric of San Antonio’s East Side?

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Neighborhoods all over San Antonio are seeing supercharged growth and gentrification, but the changes are particularly dramatic on the city’s near East Side where home prices are rising faster than any other part of Bexar County and creeping gentrification is a constant concern.

A recent Express-News analysis shows that of San Antonio’s 10 ZIP code areas with the biggest jump in median home price from 2015 to 2020, five were on the East Side. In five years, homes near Jefferson Heights in 78202 appreciated 217% and in 78203 prices surged 251% just east of the Alamodome and around St. Philip’s College.

Close to major highways and near to but more affordable than downtown, Southtown and The Pearl, this area is rife with history and culture, and includes legacy neighborhoods with roots that run deep, but its evolution is undeniable.

Older homes are now interspersed with investor-fueled refurbishments. New businesses are mixed in with long-time East Side staples. Industrial buildings are being renovated and run-down buildings revitalized. Streets and parks are being built, and homes are increasingly more expensive. As property values surged, so have property taxes, but those who choose to sell must then grapple with the challenge of where to go next.

What is fueling the East Side real-estate boom? How has the population changed because of it? Are perceptions about this area also changing?

What are the costs and benefits of the East Side’s evolution for its residents, neighborhoods and businesses? How equitable is the development for low-income families? Are people being pushed out of their homes? Can East Side neighborhoods hold on to their roots and charm?

Guest: Madison Iszler, business reporter for the San Antonio Express-News

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, December 21.

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