Highest Growth School Districts in the Houston Area

Pat Guseman, CEO, and Justin Silhavy, Director of Demographic Projections

2018 Growth Trends

Since school districts have meaningful geographic boundaries that affect where residents choose to live, plotting growth trends in housing for these districts gives us insight into future relocations. The highest increases in housing starts for 2018 are shown below:

3,688 – Fort Bend I.S.D.
3,136 – Lamar C.I.S.D.
3,078 – Conroe I.S.D.
2,705 – Katy I.S.D.
2,286 – Cy-Fair I.S.D.

In 2018, three districts were the strongest leaders — with the highest percent increases in housing starts. Those larger districts leaping forward with significant growth acceleration included:

37% – Conroe I.S.D.
25% — Lamar C.I.S.D.
22% — Fort Bend I.S.D.

Both measures of high growth—numeric and percent—are in school districts that are each driven by uniquely strong “pulls” in their respective districts. These pulls can be based on a number of factors including optimum locations of jobs, affordable homes relative to other districts, and school district reputation.

Projections of New Housing for the Largest Suburban School Districts –Ten Years Forward

Considering the prognosis for a stable economic environment, Houston’s suburban districts with the greatest number of projected housing units over the next decade are shown below. (These housing projections are prepared by Population and Survey Analysts for every active and planned subdivision, all planned apartments, and, in some cases, as-yet-undeveloped parcels within each school district, summed annually for the coming decade.)

Lamar C.I.S.D. 54,831 (with 77% as detached SF)
Conroe I.S.D. 39,418 (with 72% as detached SF)
Katy I.S.D. 37,848 (with 68% as detached SF)
Fort Bend I.S.D. 36,557 (with 63% as detached SF)
Cy-Fair I.S.D. 35,486 (with 59% as detached SF)

Lamar C.I.S.D. is projected to lead in adding new housing—among all the 61 districts in the Houston Consolidated Metro Area— accelerating each year. Also, the current high growth districts of Cy-Fair, Fort Bend, and Katy will be mostly built out within ten to fifteen years. However, these districts are currently attracting more multi-family units – i.e., using the smaller tracts that remain. Likewise, other districts not on this above list, such as Klein and Humble, are also rapidly building out.

Among the rural fringe districts, Willis, Waller, New Caney, and Barbers Hill should show the greatest percent increases in the next five to ten years, partly due to a “spillover” effect from other, larger districts and from new employment centers. These districts will make great leaps forward in new housing, added jobs, and overall population growth.

Largest Residential Developments in the Houston Metro Area – Ten Years Forward

Master planned communities likely have a bigger impact in the Houston area than any other Metro area in the nation. Houston’s housing leaders for the next ten years are Bridgeland, with new housing in three school districts that will sum to 10,464 housing units, including apartments. Additionally, the Waller, Cy-Fair, and Katy school districts will continue to see almost 5,000 housing units being added post-2028 in this one development.

Fort Bend County continues to be the epicenter for high growth in the Houston area. In Missouri City, Sienna Plantation has ~6,320 projected homes for the coming ten years and another 1,300 homes projected to be occupied post-2028. Across the County in Simonton, Twinwood, with approximately 15,000 acres via multiple ownerships, has been working on wetlands mitigation, but the timing of a major master-planned community is unknown. Johnson Development’s Jordan Ranch and Cross Creek Ranch, combined with D.R. Horton’s Tamarron, make up the high growth epicenter in the western suburbs. Combined, these three contiguous projects will add over 10,200 new housing units over the next ten years.

In Montgomery County, within Conroe I.S.D., the largest master planned community expected over the next decade is Artavia — with 3,910 homes and multi-family units expected in the coming ten years. Another ~2,600 units will be added post-2028. Development has been concentrated along the I-45, I-10, and I-69 corridors. However, new development is beginning to emerge along the Grand Parkway, SH 242, FM 1314, and FM 2854. Artavia is located along FM 1314. Also in this corridor, a long-term plan is underway by Caldwell Companies for a 4,000-lot development in New Caney I.S.D.

In the northwest suburbs, Waller and Willis are the two school districts which should accelerate the most rapidly in adding housing units. Johnson Development and Howard Hughes will have big impacts on both these districts’ ten-year growth patterns. The Woodlands Hills in Willis I.S.D. has over 4,500 homes planned, plus apartments. In this new development, 28 homes are now occupied with another 58 available or under construction. Additionally, Willis I.S.D. will soon have an active adult community, Chambers Creek Ranch, to be developed by Caldwell Companies, with upwards of 3,400 housing units