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The I-35 corridor made it onto the list, with more than a 17% increase. (CC)

Over the last census period, Central Texas got a lot more expensive with one of the highest cost of living increases in the country.

According to a study published by air filter supplier Filterbuy, the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown metro area ranked 12th highest change, with the San Antonio-New Braunfels area trailing not far behind in 14th place.

Measuring percent change in cost of living from 2010-2020, overall cost of living, cost of goods, cost of housing and cost of utilities, Dallas was the only large Texas city with a higher living increase than Austin in eighth place.

The I-35 corridor was plagued by a 17.4%-17.8% increase in cost of living over the past decade. For Austin, the increase was largely driven by skyrocketing housing and utility prices, which saw a 20.7% and 13.4% increase, respectively.

Cost of goods was the one category that decreased by 2.6%.

According to RentCafé the average rent in Austin is $1,690 for 865 square feet. Though Dallas experienced a higher change in cost of living, its average rent fell more than $200 lower at $1,423 for 848 square feet. Meanwhile, San Antonio is still the cheapest dwelling at an average of $1,192 for 858 square feet.

Toward the top of the list, Washington, Oregon, California, Florida, Colorado, Massachusetts and New Hampshire all experienced a higher increase than Austin.


Many, like Austin blogger Jane Ko, are opting to build homes on empty lots instead of buying preexisting homes. (Jane Ko/A Taste of Koko)

Austin homebuyers have been through the wringer in the past year—tales of offers well over asking price, sales in under an hour, and months-long supply chain shortages have become commonplace in the city's cutthroat housing market. So it's perhaps no surprise that many homebuyers are looking for greener pastures as they stake out large empty lots along the city's outskirts.

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As Californians were especially drawn to Austin in the pandemic, some may head back to the Bay Area. (CC)

In earlier phases of the pandemic, people took it as the perfect moment to uproot their lives to the newest boomtown. Many, particularly Californians, found a fit with Austin, enjoying the Texas weather and lower cost of living. But for some, it may only be a pitstop.

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