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Salary needed to afford Austin rent right now, plus the week's most popular stories

Salary needed to afford Austin rent now, plus more popular stories

Downtown Austin skyline
Surprise, surprise: Austin has one of the highest costs of living in the state. Nicholas McComber/Getty Images

Editor's note: Most of this week's most popular stories were all about affordability — what is costs to live in Austin, who can afford to live here, and what's still within grasp for middle-class residents. Read on to learn more and peruse the rest of the most-read pieces.

1. This is the salary you need to afford rent in Austin right now. It's perhaps unsurprising that Austin has one of the highest cost of living in the state, but this new report breaks down exactly how much locals need to afford rent in the Capital City. For a city lauded for its affordability, these reports seem to be appearing with more and more frequency...

2. This East Austin neighborhood gentrifying faster than almost anywhere else in U.S. Another report tied to affordability, this one about gentrification in a traditionally diverse neighborhood. Once again, Austin landed high on this list, with the neighborhood in question is among the top 10 fastest-gentrifying places in the nation.

3. 10 affordable Austin-area neighborhoods for first-time homebuyers. As if we haven't beaten this drum to death (and mixed metaphors in the process), the third most popular story was also about affordability. This time, we took a look at the 10 neighborhoods in and around Austin where average home price is under $300,000.

4. What to know about Philip Speer's just-opened downtown Mexican hot spot. Philip Speer has been one of Austin's marquee chefs for years, so any restaurant he opens is bound to be big news. Here's everything you need to know about the downtown eatery, from what to order, what to look out for, and what the surprising interiors can teach us about Speer's approach in the kitchen.

5. Austin theater raises the curtain on expansive east side performance venue. One of Austin's most beloved theaters is leaving its current location — but don't get the tissues out just yet. Austin Playhouse announced it was breaking ground on a glittering new theater, complete with a 227-seat performance venue, a 99-seat performance venue, and possibly even a black box space.