Small Spaces

Austin housing market offers worst bang for the buck in Texas, says report

Austin housing market offers worst bang for the buck in Texas

Austin skyline with Capitol building
No surprise here — $350,000 won't get you much space in Austin. Photo by RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock

When it comes to buying a home that supplies the most space for the price, Austin has little to offer, a new study indicates.

For the study, real estate platform RealtyHop looked at how much square footage a homebuyer could get for a median price of $350,000 in the country’s 100 largest cities. The study found that in Austin, $350,000 gets a buyer only 1,056 square feet.

That makes Austin worst in Texas on the bang-for-your-buck scale, with buyers paying $332.10 per square foot.

Meanwhile, RealtyHop cites San Antonio and Houston as two of the standouts in the U.S. for affordable housing. In nearby San Antonio, a buyer can pick up a 2,116-square-foot home for $350,000, or $165.38 per square foot. In Houston, a buyer can get 1,804 square feet for the same price, or $194.06 per square foot.

Nationally, San Francisco tops the list of least affordable cities. There, $350,000 will get you a measly 349 square feet of space ($1,003.18 per square foot). At the other end of the spectrum, that sum will get you the most space (4,769 square feet, close to the size of a small mansion) in Detroit. That adds up to just $73.39 per square foot.

“For many, the tradeoff between space and cost is a deciding factor on where they choose to settle down. Should you buy a tiny studio in Manhattan or a large townhouse in Atlanta?” RealtyHop observes. “The reality is that living in certain places often means downsizing your expectations.”

Here’s what $350,000 will buy you in the largest cities in Texas, according to RealtyHop:

  • Austin, 1,056 square feet, $332.10 per square foot.
  • Dallas, 1,574 square feet, $222.36 per square foot.
  • Plano, 1,741 square feet, $201.03 per square foot.
  • Irving, 1,769 square feet, $197.81 per square foot.
  • Houston, 1,804 square feet, $194.06 per square foot.
  • Garland, 2,013 square feet, $173.91 per square foot. (The median home size in Texas is around 2,000 square feet.)
  • Fort Worth, 2,204 square feet, $172.92 per square foot.
  • Arlington, 2,056 square feet, $170.26 per square foot.
  • Corpus Christi, 2,092 square feet, $167.27 per square foot.
  • San Antonio, 2,116 square feet, $165.38 per square foot.
  • El Paso, 2,742 square feet, $127.65 per square foot.
  • Laredo, 2,842 square feet, $123.13 per square foot.
  • Lubbock, 3,569 square feet, $98.07 per square foot.