If it ever was a secret, it seems word definitely is out now about the high quality of life in Austin, Texas. Data from the United States Census shows the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area is the number one relocation destination in the U.S. among metro areas with a million residents or more. The Austin area demonstrated a 5.4% population increase from domestic migration between 2010 and 2013. It was followed by Raleigh, North Carolina at a 3.7% increase and San Antonio-New Braunfels at a 3.2% increase.
A Bloomberg report on the numbers noted that cities like San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Greater New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. didn’t make the list, and instead were losing residents to what it termed the second-tier metros in terms of size. The article said this may be due to expensive housing in the historically high demand large cities. It noted that in many of these cities less than a third of the homes are affordable to the middle class.
While Austin has seen tremendous increases in its median home values, Austin (and Texas as a whole) is significantly less expensive than many regions across the U.S. For 2015, the median sold price for a house in Austin was $263,900, an increase of 9% compared to 2014, and the average sold price for a house in Austin was $333,558, an increase of 8% compared to 2014, according to the Austin Board of Realtors. While high for Texas, these prices are relative steals compared to many other areas of the country.
According to the Real Daily, the same factors that drive Americans to other countries are driving Americans from the largest metros to smaller metros: the largest metros are “too expensive, too chaotic, too much crime and just plain too much.” It points out that Austin is the third-fastest growing city in the nation – and grows with a variety of new residents, “attracting not only large numbers of college grads, but also immigrants and families with young children.”