Sign up for the Austonia daily newsletter

become a member

Austin rent prices have recovered—and then some—as the metro saw a higher rent increase than any other U.S. tech hub this year. (Margaret Moser Plaza)

Big tech means big rents for Austin as residents face high prices after a brief dip from the pandemic.

Austin saw the largest year-over-year percentage increase in average rent this September among the nation's top 10 tech hubs, according to the latest report from Average rent, which sat at $1,367 and dipped to $1,300 at its pandemic low (-4.9%), skyrocketed to $1,647 by September 2021, a 25.3% year-over-year increase.

The Austin metro also saw the sixth-highest average percentage rent increase among the nation's 50 largest metros in that same time period, falling to Florida cities Tampa and Miami as well as Riverside, Calif., Phoenix, Ariz. and Riverside, Calif.

The median rent in Austin has increased by $155 since April 2021, when rent nationwide began to rebound at the onset of the COVID vaccine rollout. Since then, 31 of the nation's 50 biggest metros have seen double-digit percentage gains in median rent from Sept. 2020-21.

While Austin tops the tech hub list in median rent percentages, it's still a tad below the national average of $1,654, a new record high. The nation's median rent increased by 13.6% year-over-year.

And median rent in Austin is still below all 10 tech hubs measured—including Boston ($1,895), Chicago ($2,500), Denver ($2,850), Los Angeles ($2,095), San Jose ($2,517), Seattle ($2,895), Washington, D.C. ($3,015) New York City ($2,075) and San Francisco ($1,695).

But as unsatisfied West Coasters and outpaced city dwellers in the pandemic's age of remote work flock to the capital city, that trend has been predicted to change. Big tech companies continue to invest in the area—notably, new HQs for Tesla and Oracle.

Austin is already more expensive than 29 of the 50 biggest metros, including Texas' DFW ($1,475), the Houston metro ($1,319) and San Antonio-New Braunfels ($1,206).

The city's headline-making hot housing market has cooled a bit this fall, but a pandemic boom saw the market's median home price shoot to an all-time high of $482,364 in June 2021. And by the end of 2021, at least one report has predicted that Austin will be more expensive to live in than any non-Californian city in the nation.


Stories from the Road delivers an interactive performance while aiming to paying musicians farily. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

In a city where live music is heralded above all else, Pete Monfre was surprised to find local musicians working for free that he quit the industry for 10 years in 2006.

Keep Reading Show less

In this season of gifts, giving, and gratitude, Tito's is making it easy to shop for your friends and loved ones while helping our community.

The beloved Austin company's Love, Tito's retail space, downtown at 215 Lavaca Street, is fully stocked with great gear. 100% of net proceeds of whatever you purchase—a new collar for your four-legged friend, a Tito's tee, some branded barware—go to the nonprofits they support. From the environment to animal rescue, you can choose your cause while choosing a new copper cocktail kit… or old school cap… or golf polo.

Keep Reading Show less

The Trail of Lights is going on its 57th year as the most famous light show in Austin. (Trail of Lights)

The holiday season is upon us, so get ready to celebrate with carols, snacks and light shows galore. Austin is full of holiday festivities spanning throughout all of December so get out and enjoy the cool weather while it lasts.

Keep Reading Show less