Real Estate Confidential Austin
The Suburban Life

Californians really are moving to Austin — and where they live will surprise you

Californians are moving to Austin — where they live will surprise you

Austin house home 101 Pascal Lane Weslake Rob Roy neighborhood front exterior
Goodbye, West Coast. Hello, Hill Country! Photo courtesy of Concierge Auctions

Californians: It's easy to blame them for everything bad in Austin, from traffic to unaffordable housing. Although we already know that most new Austinites actually come from other parts of Texas, one California city is exporting more folks to Central Texas than ever before.

According to a new report from Redfin, Austin is a particularly attractive destination for people leaving San Francisco.

The real estate firm asserts that there is an ongoing Bay Area exodus due to sky-rocketing home prices. While West Coast towns like Seattle and Portland are still strong magnets for San Franciscans, other cities across the U.S. — including Austin, Denver, Boston, and Washington — are growing in popularity.

What's bringing them to Austin? Our thriving tech sector, of course, is a great match for workers hailing from Silicon Valley. Pair that with a more affordable housing market, and it's no wonder that San Franciscans are itching to become Austinites.

Digging deeper, Redfin found that there are about 79 tech jobs for every 1,000 jobs in San Francisco. Austin's ratio is close behind, with 64 tech jobs per 1,000. And Austin's median home price of $286,000 blows San Francisco's $1.2 million out of the water. As a result, Austin area homes are among the most searched-for properties by San Francisco folks.

This influx of tech professionals (and other out-of-towners wooed by our great food and warm weather) is contributing to Austin's rising home prices. As a result, new Austinites are looking further outside the city for accommodations.

"Builders can't keep up with the demand closer to the central core of Austin, but areas like Pflugerville, Cedar Park, and Round Rock are experiencing rapid growth and new-build communities are getting snatched up quickly by buyers moving to the area from more expensive cities like San Francisco," says Lauren Johnson, a local Redfin agent, in the report.

But newcomers don't seem bothered by being pushed outside of city limits. "Living 30 minutes outside of the urban core doesn't faze many of my clients — for a third of the price they're getting three times the property, so being just outside the city is a fair trade," Johnson says. "One of my recent clients was living in a $1 million townhome in San Jose and purchased a much larger home in Pflugerville for under $400,000." 

Guess it pays to be a tech exec with a love for the 'burbs.