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(Stuart Seeger/CC)

The Wall Street Journal singled out Austin in a report that highlighted the growing exodus from big cities like New York and San Francisco in favor of the Texas capital—a trend longtime residents have been well aware of.


Locals and natives alike already know the city is growing and attracting more people and businesses by the minute, but since the onset of COVID-19, Austin's growth has been in hyperdrive.

Although this year has had a damper put on it with the pandemic, companies like Tesla, French luxury retailer Hermès and venture capital firm 8VC are expanding to Austin and helping to create around 10,000 jobs, the highest single-year figure on record, according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

So what does Austin have that other big cities don't?

WSJ reported that Austin is becoming popular in the pandemic because of this influx of remote and corporate jobs as well as its lower cost of living (and with more bang for your buck—remember, they don't have backyards in NYC) and mild winter climate. There is also the absence of a state income tax.

People are also entering the city faster than others are leaving. Between April and October this year, for every one person who left Austin for the Bay Area, almost three people moved in the opposite direction, and for every one person who left Austin for New York City, more than two New Yorkers came to Austin.

Plus, due to constant construction, Austin has tens of thousands of apartments to rent. According to the National Apartment Association, between 2014 and 2018 more apartments were built in Austin than in any other U.S. city. The massive number of apartments has managed to keep up with demand.

However, while Austin is the number one tech town in the U.S. and chock full of opportunity, locals know it is not without its fair share of issues.

Austin is growing progressively more expensive—surpassing other major metropolitan areas like Houston and Dallas. In fact, Austin ranked as one of the least affordable cities in the country this year.

WSJ also noted that, although housing is abundant, it is not necessarily affordable. In Texas, developers are not required to include affordable—or below market-rate—units, which means a majority of them cater to the most affluent Austinites.

And don't even try to get by without a car, as Austin has a relatively small public transit system compared to major cities. However, with Project Connect in the works, that is gearing up to change ... over the next 13 years.

All things considered—with more celebrities and businesses moving to the city—it is safe to say Austin is just getting started.

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