Reduced ranking

Austin drops out of top 10 on U.S. News’ list of best places to live

Austin drops out of top 10 on U.S. News’ list of best places to live

Downtown Austin skyline
The Austin metro area tumbled from No. 5 last year to No. 13 this year.  Photo by Gino Barasa, Visit Austin/Facebook

Austin has been knocked out of the top 10 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the best places to live in the U.S.

The Austin metro area tumbled from No. 5 last year to No. 13 this year. Austin ranked No. 3 in 2020, and No. 1 in 2017, 2018, and 2019. It remains the top-ranked place in Texas, though.

Austin has slipped in the annual U.S. News rankings as housing costs have continued to soar. In March, the median sale price of a home in the metro area jumped 22 percent to $521,100 compared with a year earlier, according to the Austin Board of Realtors. Within the city of Austin, the median sale price climbed 22.4 percent to $624,000.

“According to the Census Bureau’s 2021 population estimates, Austin is experiencing a net growth of 146 people per day. This type of growth places immediate and significant demand on infrastructure, particularly housing,” Lila Valencia, the City of Austin’s demographer, said in an April news release from the Austin Board of Realtors.

For this year’s rankingU.S. News considered key factors for 150 metro areas such as job availability, housing affordability, quality of life, and desirability. This year, the publication added data about air quality for the first time.

Huntsville, Alabama, grabbed the No. 1 spot from last year’s top-ranked metro, Boulder, Colorado. Huntsville came in third place last year.

“Much of the shakeup we see at the top of this year’s ranking is a result of changing preferences,” Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News, says in a news release. “People moving across the country today are putting more emphasis on affordability and quality of life than on the job market, which in many ways takes a back seat as remote work options have become more standard.”

Elsewhere in the U.S. News rankings:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth landed at No. 32, up from No. 37 last year.
  • Houston landed at No. 59, down from No. 39 last year.
  • San Antonio landed at No. 83, down from No. 75 last year.
  • Killeen landed at No. 108, up from No. 114 last year.
  • Beaumont landed at No. 109, up from No. 124 last year.
  • El Paso landed at No. 124, up from No. 131 last year.
  • Corpus Christi landed at No. 133, down from No. 129 last year.
  • Brownsville landed at No. 134, up from No. 140 last year.
  • McAllen landed at No. 138, up from No. 139 last year.