Texas Insight

Housing

The Texas Advantage

Texas is known as a great place to live and work, with a business-friendly attitude and a cost of living among the nation’s lowest. And a big component of our low cost of living is a healthy and affordable housing market.

  • According to the Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey, Texas ranked 42nd among states in its median housing cost, at just $114,000. Among the 10 most populous states, Texas had the lowest median cost by far, at about a fifth of California’s price and a little more than a third of New York’s.
  • Home ownership is less burdensome in Texas. According to the Census Bureau, in 2006 just a third (33.3 percent) of Texas homeowners with mortgages had to spend 30 percent or more of their monthly household incomes on mortgage payments and associated costs. The U.S. average was 36.9 percent of homeowners; the equivalent shares in California, Florida and New York were 51.8 percent, 44.9 percent and 40.9 percent, respectively.
  • Renters get a better deal in Texas too. In the 2006 American Community Survey, Texas’ median monthly housing cost for renter-occupied housing was well below the US. average, at $711 versus $763. By contrast, California’s median cost was $1,029; New York’s was $875; and Florida’s was $872.
  • Despite phenomenal growth, both Austin and Dallas appeared in Forbes Magazine’s 2007 ranking of the nation’s 10 most affordable metro-area housing markets.
  • A November 2007 Coldwell Banker study concluded that Texas had three of the ten most affordable housing markets in the U.S., more than any other state.
  • Lower housing costs translate to a lower cost of living for you and your family. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, Texas had the fourth-lowest cost of living among states in the first quarter of 2008.
  • Texas is avoiding the worst effects of the nationwide mortgage crisis. A May 2008 study by Realtytrac, a nationwide property information service, found that Texas was one of just seven states—and the only one of the 10 most populous states—that saw a decrease in foreclosure activity in the year ending in April 2008. Over that time period, foreclosure filings across the nation rose by nearly 65 percent.
  • In June in Texas, only one in 835 homeowners with a mortgage received a foreclosure notice while rates in other states included one in 122 in Nevada, one in 192 in California, and one in 201 in Arizona.
  • Texas dominated Forbes magazine’s July 2008 list of Ten Best Cities to Buy a Home, nabbing four spots: Houston ranked first, Austin second, San Antonio fifth and Dallas sixth. Forbes examined the country’s 40 largest metropolitan areas, culling vacancy and home price information from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Association of Realtors.