Homeward bound

Austin moves in as one of most popular relocation destinations in U.S.

Austin moves in as one of most popular relocation destinations in U.S.

Austin skyline downtown Lady Bird Lake Town Colorado River kayaking
Despite its popularity, Austin fell in the ranking. Congress Avenue Kayaks/Facebook

Americans are on the move to Austin, Dallas, and Houston, with new data showing they’re among the country’s top 15 relocation destinations this year.

Moving app Updater ranks Austin as the 15th most popular relocation destination in 2018. It follows Dallas at No. 2 and Houston at No. 7. Updater based the ranking on relocation data for two million household moves from this January through August. 

“Suburban counties in and around Austin, Dallas, and Houston are proving to offer a great quality of life while still being close enough to the metropolitan neighborhoods,” says Jenna Weinerman, head of marketing at Updater.

Dallas and Houston maintained their popularity rankings from 2017 to 2018, while Austin fell from No. 6 to No. 15.

“Austin actually is growing rapidly and people are moving to Austin in droves,” Weinerman says, “but we did see some new cities enter the list this year in pretty high positions that bumped Austin to a lower position.”

The top five cities on this year’s list are:

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Dallas
  3. Atlanta
  4. New York City
  5. Los Angeles

Newcomers to the Updater ranking are Portland, Oregon; Minneapolis; and Tampa, Florida. Dropping out of the top 15 this year were Philadelphia; Orlando, Florida; and Boston. 

“We’re a decade past the housing market collapse of 2008 and the financial troubles that followed. Today, however, we’re facing affordability troubles,” Weinerman says. “Inventory shortages plague many urban areas, causing first-time homebuyers to struggle with down payments in markets like San Francisco and Seattle. That dynamic has led to more Americans moving back to the major suburbs of the cities on our list, particularly in markets that have seen explosive … growth like Austin and Houston.”

Data supplied to CultureMap by Updater indicates the most popular ZIP codes in the Austin, Dallas, and Houston metro areas for people moving this year.


  1. 78741 (East Riverside)
  2. 78665 (Round Rock)
  3. 78723 (Mueller/Windsor Park)
  4. 78729 (Northwest Austin/Jollyville)
  5. 78753 (Heritage Hills)


  1. 75056 (The Colony)
  2. 75070 (McKinney)
  3. 75067 (Lewisville)
  4. 75204 (Old East Dallas)
  5. 76107 (Fort Worth-Westover Hills)


  1. 77077 (Eldridge/West Oaks)
  2. 77095 (Cypress)
  3. 77384 (Conroe)
  4. 77002 (Downtown Houston)
  5. 77007 (Houston Heights)