By CASSIE MCKEE, Four Points News
The 78732 zip code, which includes Steiner Ranch and Comanche Trails, has been ranked the third most affluent zip code in Austin, according to a recent study by mapping company ESRI.
The company looked at factors such as average household income, net worth and home values.
According to the study, average household income in 78732 is $165,921, the average net worth is $1,306,868, the average disposable income is $125,654, and the average home value is $494,323.
The 78732 zip came in third place behind 2nd place Westlake’s 78746 and 1st place 78739 in southwest Austin where Circle C is located.
City of Austin demographer Ryan Robinson said he was a little surprised that 78746 came in behind 78739. “ESRI does solid work…(but) it just doesn’t quite seem possible with the level of incomes in Westlake,” he added.
The city’s five year demographic estimates between 2008 and 2012 show similar results. (see chart)
Steiner Ranch is one of the most popular areas in the county for incoming out-of-staters, Robinson said.
“I think that not just Steiner Ranch but the whole Four Points area looks a lot like southern California with the vistas, the views, the water and hills,” Robinson said. “That whole topographic package is a powerful amenity combination.”
The 78730 zip code, which includes River Place, Westminster Glen and Long Canyon, ranked seventh richest city wide. In 78730, the average household income is $165,891, average net worth is $1,159,586, average disposable income is $124,399, and the average home value is $678,684.
Robinson said that over time, in addition to Steiner Ranch, all the communities around Lake Travis have become more affluent. He used the example of Lakeway, which 30 years ago seemed a long way from Austin.
“Today, from a regional standpoint, that’s not way out anymore,” Robinson said. “It’s not the urban core but it’s not way out on the edge of the metropolitan region. That has added to the cache of the region.”
Robinson said another factor which has contributed to the strength and affluence of Four Points is the mix of residential and business growth.
“Employers are increasingly showing up along 620,” he said. “Overall, the area continues to grow. That’s a powerful mix. There are a lot of other parts of the region that don’t have that. As far as sustainability, I think that speaks highly, that it’s not just purely residential.”
The Four Points area also has a large number of families with children, in large part due to the great schools.
“That’s good that it hasn’t become so expensive that it’s prohibitive to families with children,” Robinson said.
He said there is also a growing number of politically conservative residents in Four Points.
“You’re seeing the emergence of a pretty strong Republican base in western Travis County,” Robinson said. “When you look at the western suburbs like Circle C, River Place and Canyon Creek, they’re not only more affluent they’re also more politically conservative. That’s just part of the whole evolution of Austin.”
Overall, the Austin metropolitan area is very strong economically, Robinson said.
“Right now this is the Camelot of Austin,” he said. “I think we’re experiencing the biggest boon that we’ve ever had. When we were in the depths of the tech recession, in 2001-02, there were a lot of us that thought that was it; we were pessimistic,” Robinson said. “I was so surprised by the strength by which we rebounded in 2004-05. I think we’ve come back from the dead a couple of different times.”