14 Best Inner Loop Houston Neighborhoods | Real Estate Trends
Houston’s Inner Loop (the area shown on the map above bordered by Interstate 610) is one of the top ranked regions within the state of Texas.
The Bayou City (and notably this ~20 square mile area of Houston) has recently earned the following accolades:
- “Houston’s Inner Loop offers one of the best commutes in the country” with access to over 600,000 jobs (between Downtown Houston and The Medical Center, The Galleria and The Energy Corridor), CNN Money.
- #5 on the “Best Cities For Jobs, 2014,” Forbes Magazine.
- Over the last five years, Houston expanded total employment by 218,000 job – with most jobs within 15 minutes of the Inner Loop, Texas Department of Labor.
- #10 in “America’s Fastest Growing Cities,” United States Census Bureau.
Specifically, within Houston’s Inner Loop, 14 neighborhoods stand out with the best real estate appreciation over the past year.*
1. Timbergrove / Lazybrook
Timbergrove is a quaint neighborhood that features rolling terrains, large lots and tree-lined winding streets.
The residential area lies west of the Houston Heights and along the wooded banks of White Oak Bayou.
Timbergrove homes for sale are mostly mid-century, one-story ranch style brick homes. It is also among the approximately 60 Houston neighborhoods carrying the “Super Neighborhood” recognition.
With median lot sizes at nearly 7,000 square feet, Southgate homes for sale are mostly single-family homes on medium-sized (by Houston’s standards) lots.
The neighborhood had the highest 10-year real estate appreciation in Houston, due to its ideal location, community development, and its beautiful collection of new constructions and newly remodeled homes.
Southgate’s 18% real estate appreciation last year is also the second highest among neighborhoods within the Inner Loop.
Museum District homes appreciated by 15% last year, mostly due to the exciting atmosphere within the neighborhood.
Within a 1.5 mile radius, the Museum District includes 19 museums that offers educational, artistic, and scientific resources.
There are multiple property types throughout the area, and Museum District condos and townhomes are certainly a popular choice.
Much of the newer construction is architecturally-inspired, allowing these Museum District homes to compliment the vibrant feel of the area.
One of the first “master-planned” communities in the city, Houston Heights is an exciting neighborhood of 3,700 homes located north of I-10 highway, south of Loop 610 and west of Highway 45.
Homes for sale in the Heights appreciated by 14% last year. Homes sold in 2004 have risen by more than half of its value in just 10 years.
Ranked #4 in CNN Money’s Top 10 Big City Neighborhoods, The Heights offers charm and a small-town feel; along with a fantastic collection of restaurants, coffee bars, antique shops, parks, and running trails.
The Hike & Bike Trail in the Heights recently opened with several new bridges. It connects the north side of Houston’s Inner loop with soon-to-be over hundred miles of city trails.
5. Braes Heights / Braeswood Place
The neighborhood consists of 7 private subdivisions: Ayrshire, Braes Heights, Braes Oaks, Braes Manor, Braes Terrace, Emerald Forest, and Southern Oaks.
Braeswood had the 2nd highest 10-year appreciation rate within Inner Loop.
The neighborhood’s prime location, deed restrictions, and its gorgeous collection of new construction homes make it one of the most desirable communities in Houston.
The affluent neighborhood of Southampton Place is a small yet vibrant community of over 600 single-family homes just north of Rice University.
It is the 2nd most expensive neighborhood in Houston due to its Inner Loop location, proximity to hot Houston hubs, and luxury homes for sale.
This quiet neighborhood is protected by heavy deed restrictions. All dwellings in Southampton are at least 25 feet away from the front property lines ensuring all homes have spacious front yards.
The Southampton Civics Club also prohibit development of apartments and townhomes.
7. Montrose / Upper Kirby
Located a few miles southwest of Downtown Houston, Upper Kirby is a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood.
Much like its next door neighbor Montrose, Upper Kirby projects a Bohemian flavor, with its mix of restaurants, townhomes, condos, single-family homes, boutiques, and bars.
Montrose boasts over 50 restaurants and bars, including a nine restaurants that consistently make the list of “Top Restaurants in the State of Texas,” according to Texas Monthly.
Woodland Heights is a beautiful subdivision with mostly restored cottages, bungalows, and new construction single-family homes.
Woodland Heights is part of the Greater Heights area. Similar to The Heights, Woodland Heights homes sell well due to its accessibility, proximity to main Houston hubs, and peaceful neighborhood.
Known for its carefully restored and new construction homes, Woodland Heights also has a good number of canopies of mature oak trees growing along its streets.
Located in the center of Houston’s Inner Loop, Rice Military is bordered by Westcott on the west, Shepherd/Durham on the east, Washington on the north, and Buffalo Bayou on the south.
The Rice Military neighborhood is “an area of transition”, meaning real estate is still affordable but projected to increase due to its location and community development.
Rice Military residents are also a stone’s throw away from Memorial Park, one of the nation’s largest urban park with one of the largest trail systems anywhere in the city.
10. West University
West University is the 5th most expensive neighborhood in Houston. Homes for sale in the area are mostly luxurious single family homes with 3 or more bedrooms.
West U offers some of the best public schools in the State of Texas, a private police and fire department, and the Rice Village Shopping Center with over 300 establishments.
The entire area is also divided into 26 blocks or sections (some offering a fantastic small town vibe), making it one of the most organized neighborhoods in Houston.
Known locally as the “City of Homes”, Bellaire TX is a Houston neighborhood of mostly luxury 3-bedroom single-family homes priced between $400,000 to $900,000.
The name “Bellaire” originated from “good air” or “good breeze”, attributed to the neighborhoods small-town, family-friendly community.
12. River Oaks
As Houston’s most expensive neighborhood, River Oaks also has one of the best real estate appreciation rates within Inner Loop.
The grande dame of Houston’s luxury enclaves, River Oaks is a 1,100-acre neighborhood of mansions and estates found at the heart of Inner Loop Houston.
River Oaks lot prices start at $2,200 during the 1920s. Today, the most expensive River Oaks home for sale is a six-bedroom, 16,000-square-foot mansion priced at $15,995,000.
The entirety of River Oaks is a scenic view of towering trees that line streets coupled with intricately detailed bushes that lead to pocket gardens.
Plenty of restaurants, bars, boutiques, and art galleries in the River Oaks Shopping Center and West Ave complexes elevate the neighborhood’s quality of life.
13. Southside Place
Southside Place homes for sale are some of the newest and most expensive properties in Houston.
With a median lot size of almost 8,000 square feet, these houses have above average yards and lawns as well.
Southside Place is also ranked as one of the wealthiest locations in Texas. Homes for sale in the area are mostly luxury single-family homes with over 3 bedrooms.
14. Afton Oaks
Afton Oaks is also one of Houston’s 20 most expensive neighborhoods.
Afton Oaks is a subdivision of more than 400 renovated 1950s ranch-style homes and new construction townhomes.
Afton Oaks features a central Inner Loop location. Nestled at the corner where Southwest and West Loop freeways meet, Afton Oaks residents enjoy easy access to the city’s top cultural, commercial, and recreational facilities.
Oak trees line the streets of Afton Oaks, giving the homes great curb appeal thanks to over 50 years of active civic club involvement.
HONORABLE MENTION: Garden Oaks
Median sales price: $359,927
1-year real estate appreciation: 18%
10-year real estate appreciation: 54%
Garden Oaks is a neighborhood of approximately 1400 homes located north of the North Loop (610), and bordered by Ella Blvd. to the west and Yale St. to the east.
Nestled among towering pines and grand magnolias, Garden Oaks feature cottages, bungalows, ranch, and traditional-style homes.
Garden Oaks is near enough to main districts making daily commutes a breeze, and yet far enough for the residents to enjoy a private and quiet neighborhood.
Despite being close to main commercial districts, Garden Oaks has kept its “naturesy” identity. Oak, pecan, and pine trees tower over homes in Garden Oaks. Massive lots (median lot size is 12,000 square feet) with lush yards compliment the tree-roofed neighborhood.
*Garden Oaks touches the Inner Loop, but lies just outside.
View More Houston Resources
- Houston Neighborhood Maps
- Free 74-Page Houston Relocation Kit
- Guide To Houston Real Estate For Sale
- 8 Shocking Houston Real Estate Statistics
- 15 Breathtaking Photos Of Houston
- 20 Most Expensive Neighborhoods In Houston
* Data sourced from the Houston Association of Realtors MLS listing and sold data for sold homes in the respective Houston neighborhoods over the past decade. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified.