Big City Bargains

Austin shines on new report of America's fastest-growing yet affordable cities

Austin shines on report of fastest-growing yet affordable U.S. cities

Roadhouse Relics Greetings from Austin postcard mural
Austin offers serious big-city value.  Roadhouse Relics/Facebook

Out of curiosity, if for no other reason, we like to know whether the area where we live — or where we want to live — is one of the fastest-growing. Population growth signals that a region is a desirable spot, including the availability of both jobs and affordable housing.

It’s the housing affordability factor, of course, that helps drive many people’s decisions about buying a house in a metro area or even relocating there. And when it comes to the mashup of population growth and housing affordability, Austin shines — at least according to a new report from personal finance website NerdWallet. 

Among the 10 U.S. metro areas that gained the most residents from mid-2016 to mid-2017, Austin ranks No. 5. According to NerdWallet, the median home price is $330,200 and median household income is $71,000. From 2016 to 2017, the Austin area gained 55,269 residents.

“The Texas capital had the fourth-highest house prices among the fastest-growing metro areas and third-highest household income,” says NerdWallet, which based its report on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Association of Realtors, and NerdWallet.

Elsewhere in Texas, Houston ranks second for housing affordability, just behind Atlanta in the top spot. The report shows the Houston area with a median home price of $244,400 and median household income of $61,708. From 2016 to 2017, the Houston area added 94,417 residents.

“Houston’s affordability comes courtesy of having this list’s third-lowest house prices and sixth-highest household income,” NerdWallet says.

Dallas-Fort Worth ranks third for housing affordability among the 10 fastest-growing metros, just two notches above Austin. According to NerdWallet, the region offers a median home price of $268,200 with median household income of $63,812. DFW’s population swelled by 146,238 from 2016 to 2017.

“The Metroplex had the fourth-highest income on the list and the fourth-lowest house prices, making it third most affordable. It was the fastest-growing metro,” NerdWallet says.