With hundreds of people migrating to Austin every day, housing in hot demand and prices on the rise, affordability is the topic du jour in the Live Music Capital of the world. But is it really that expensive to live here?
While rents are rising to record-highs in the Capital City, it falls leagues behind major hubs like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Still, for a city with just over 1 million people, Austin's affordability has been under question, with few options even for those making $15 per hour.
Here's how Austin stacks up against other similar-sized cities.
San José, California, pop. 1,009,340
California is not known for its affordability and San José is no exception—the median rent price in the city falls around $2,593, according to apartment rental site RENTCafe. The average apartment size is 886 square feet, putting the price per square foot at $2.93, which is also on a 4% decline from last year. You won't find housing for less than $1,500, so be prepared to pry open that pocketbook. That's the price you pay for California's tech hub and sunny Bay Area skies!
Seattle, Washington, pop. 776,555
Coming in with the lowest population, an apartment in Seattle will set you back $2,034 per month on average, according to RENTCafe. Though this is a comparable price to Austin, if you plan on making a move to Seattle, you're going to need to invest in some space solutions because the hefty price will give you much less room to spread out. Just over $2,000 per month will get you 692 square feet of space, meaning you'll pay $2.94 for every foot of space. This price is even after a decrease of 4% from last year and only 4% of housing falls below $1,000 per month.
Austin, Texas, pop. 1,011,790
While stomaching a growing population, Austin is scrambling to find enough housing for its booming populous. You'll be hard-pressed to find an apartment in Austin for cheaper than the median price, $1,539, but with 865 spacious square feet to sprawl out, you'll only be paying $1.78 per foot, according to RENTCafe. A bargain compared to Seattle or San José, plus you'll be right in the center of Texas' luscious Hill Country. Rent has increased by 9% since last year and is likely to increase as the city keeps growing, but 11% of listings are below $1,000 so you can live cheap if you're crafty enough!
Charlotte, North Carolina, pop. 912,096
Known for its big-city views, lake communities and craft brews, Charlotte is just about the same size as Austin and will run you about the same average rent at $1,398 per month. However, you get more bang for your buck, because the price will get you around 942 square feet, pricing at $1.48 per foot. Rent is rising faster than Austin's though, at a 10% increase since last year, and has just a bit more affordable housing, with 15% of units under $1,000. See how else the two cities stack up here.
Dallas, Texas, pop. 1,347,120
Love Texas but can't handle the competition in Austin's fast and furious renting market? Dallas might be the city for you if you're willing to pay $1,338 for 848 square feet. At $1.58 per square foot, the home of the Dallas Cowboys is marginally more affordable than Austin so the choice is yours if you can spare an extra $200 per month. Rent is up 7% year over year but 33% of rentals are under $1,000, so affordable options are prevalent. You'll miss out on the river flowing through the city but there are plenty of historical sites to see and a massive metro area.
Jacksonville, Florida, pop. 929,647
The largest city by area in the sunshine state, Jacksonville is the most populous city in the southeast and comes with sandy Atlantic beaches. Named the top city for digital nomads (Austin is No. 2), Jacksonville's rent is rising more quickly than any other city on the list—13% since last year—but still packs in plenty of affordable housing. The average rent falls at $1,266 for a generous 965 square feet, meaning you're only paying $1.31 per, and you'll have options, with 27% of units under $1,000.
Fort Worth, Texas, pop. 942,323
Just outside Dallas, Fort Worth is a fairly affordable choice in Texas. There, you'll find a median rent of $1,238 that will leave you room to grow in 872 square feet, putting the price per foot at $1.42, according to RENTCafe. Like most of the cities in this range, Fort Worth rent has risen 8% since last year but since 31% of its units are under $1,000 per month, you're less likely to struggle to find a place you can afford. The city packs plenty of art museums to visit and a country flair—rodeos and the National Cowgirl Museum await.
Columbus, Ohio, pop. 913,921
Though it is the capital city of Ohio, Columbus' charming brick houses, bustling art scene and plenty of professional sports teams are just some of the things the city is known for. You can live in Columbus for quite a bit cheaper than Austin, with a median rent of $1,035 and an average apartment size of 883 square feet—which is only $1.17 per foot, according to RENTCafe. Rent is on a modest rise of 6% but with 44% of units clocking in the $701-$1,000 range and 14% between $501-$700, there are economical options aplenty.
Indianapolis, Indiana, pop. 887,232
Finally, with an average rent at $969, you would have to look hard to find housing that wasn't in an affordable budget—at least by Austin standards. With 63% of units under $1,000, finding a bargain of a place is easy, and you're only paying $1.10 per foot for an average of 880 square feet. So what's in Indianapolis? Proximity to Lake Michigan, the Indianapolis 500 race and the romantic central canal. What's more, rent is on just a modest slope, rising only 6% since last year.
- Austin's rental market rebounds after pandemic slump - austonia ›
- 'Tables have turned' in the Austin rental market, with fewer ... ›
- The top five hottest rental markets in Austin right now - austonia ›
- Austin rents continue post-COVID rise thanks to homes frenzy ... ›
- How much does it cost to live among bars in Austin's nightlife? - austonia ›
- After COVID lull, Austin sees biggest year-over-year rent increase among U.S. tech hubs - austonia ›
- Austin's hot housing, rental market bleed into southern neighbors - austonia ›
- Austinites pay more on bills than any other Texas City - austonia ›
- Austin tops Texas cities for rent growth in 2021 - austonia ›
- Austin 1 of 2 Texas cities where you can save for a house in under five years, new study shows - austonia ›
- Austin's rent jumps higher than almost any other U.S. city as rental costs spike nationwide - austonia ›
- 'Boomtown' Austin could soon end as rent, renewal rates soar - austonia ›
An Austin-Travis County ambulance was removed from a Central Austin St. David's Hospital and taken for a joyride until it was recovered in Round Rock.
Ezra Neal, 32, is now in the Travis County jail facing two felony counts for auto theft of $300,000 or more and evading in a motor vehicle, according to the Austin Police Department.
On Thursday morning, ATCEMS tracked down the missing ambulance truck and reported it to APD. An officer found the ambulance with its back door wide open on I-35 in Pflugerville.
The police officer followed Neal North for almost 10 miles as four more police vehicles joined the chase. When Neal entered Round Rock, he took the FM 1431 exit toward University Boulevard, police said.
He was able to get past spike strips set up in his path by police but eventually turned into an H-E-B parking lot where he was arrested.
- EMS responds to seven-car crash with 18-wheeler in Manor - austonia ›
- Austin Ems - austonia ›
- Austin 911 operators to star in new fall TV show on ABC - austonia ›
- Austin ranks more dangerous than Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth ... ›
- Here's how crime stacks up in Austin's party districts - austonia ›
- "Silk Road" biopic highlights a tale of true crime in Austin ›
Days after Memorial Day, it officially feels like summer in Austin with a Heat Advisory Monday and a slew of 100+ degree weather on track for the week.
Triple-digit temperatures are expected in Central Texas for at least seven days straight, with near-record temperatures expected Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Increasing clouds tonight for most of the eastern part of south central Texas with lows in the 70s. For the rest of the week, the story is dry and heat weather conditions with highs in the upper 90s up to 107 degrees. #txwxpic.twitter.com/i19NMZDAaT
— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) June 6, 2022
That near-record heat, coupled with almost nonexistent cloud coverage, could exacerbate a drought that has reached extreme levels. Lake Travis is at its lowest level since 2018.
Austin also just came out of its hottest May in 125 years. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport saw 1.8 inches of rain in May, down from an average of 5.1 inches.
At San Antonio International Airport, only 4.58" of rain has fallen between Jan 1 and June 5. This is their 9th driest start to a year. Some folks are drawing comparisons w/ 2011 in TX. Drought is not as bad/widespread as it was at this time that year, but it'll be a hot summer! pic.twitter.com/Nw9oxsEj3b
— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) June 6, 2022
Austin still hasn't reached 2011 records, when an extreme drought scorched Austin with 27 straight days of 100+ triple-digit days. Still, the city typically doesn't reach 100 degrees until July 4, and the Climate Prediction Center said that Central Texas will continue to see above average (93.1-93.7 degrees) temperatures through June 19.
When triple-degree heat sets in and heat indexes rise high enough for a Heat Advisory, the National Weather Service recommends that residents limit strenuous activity outside, stay hydrated, stay out of the sun whenever possible and keep children and pets out of unattended vehicles.
- Seattle and Austin swap weather forecasts this week - austonia ›
- Traveling Austinites stranded in wintry weather as Austin airport ... ›
- Short-lived storm expected before sunny weather on Wednesday ... ›
- Weather outlook suggests a hot and dry Central Texas spring ... ›