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Can Austin renters afford to buy a home here? Surprisingly, yes.

Can Austin renters afford to buy a home here? Surprisingly, yes.

Austin house home 101 Pascal Lane Weslake Rob Roy neighborhood living room painting
Many Austinites want to buy a house, and studies show they can. Photo courtesy of Concierge Auctions

For many, the traditional "American dream" includes buying a home. Across most of Texas, that dream is dissipating, as recent reports show that the majority of local renters don't have the means to make the jump to home ownership. Except in Austin.

Zillow released its latest rental analysis and made Austin the lone bright spot in Texas, claiming No. 15 on the list of the highest share of renters who can afford to buy. Nearly 13 percent of on-market renters have sufficient credit scores and income to afford the median home in Austin, which runs about $252,900.

Elsewhere, however, the news is grim.

Houston wins the dubious award of least qualified city, with only 6.8 percent of renters able to take a stab at securing a median $172,900 home. Dallas is the fourth worst. The median home price there is $189,000, but only 8.2 percent of renters have the income and credit score necessary to afford that. In No. 15 San Antonio, only 10 percent of renters could afford a median home priced at $152,300.

Apartment rental website Zumper confirms Austin's strong market, singling it out as the place where the gap is smallest between desire to own a home and buyers' ability. It conducted a survey of more than 6,000 of its users and found that while 94.3 percent of Austinites want to buy, 72.1 percent can afford a mortgage within the city proper.

In Dallas, the wish is there for 97.2 percent of Zumper users, but only 63.2 percent say they can actually make it a reality. The good news is that the figures are much, much better in Texas than in, say, San Diego, where 91.5 percent want to become homeowners, but only 20 percent think they can.