The Houston metropolitan area boasts an impressive population growth rate of over 20% for the past decade, now reaching over 7.1 million residents, according to the US Census. This growth rate places Houston fifth among the country’s 50 fastest growing metro areas, making it stand out as one of the most attractive places for Americans looking to relocate.

But what makes Space City so attractive for newcomers?  Here are some of Houston’s main draws and the reasons why people are coming here in droves:

Homes are less expensive, bigger and have better yards compared to other major urban hotspots

The housing market is one of Houston’s biggest appeals. The median price of a home in Harris County sits at around $366K, with residences also being relatively large. The median size of a Houston home is almost 2,300 square feet, much larger than in other popular locations. Compared to LA County, for example, one of the main suppliers of new Houstonians, homes in the Houston area are $482K less expensive and 580 square feet bigger. Even more, those affordable and roomy homes also come with nicely-sized yards – the average lot size in Houston is over 7,100 square feet.

There’s a great selection of apartments in Houston

But it’s not just single-family homes that provide comfort – apartments are also on the large side. New apartments built in Houston in 2019 had almost 940 square feet on average, the second largest among the country’s top 20 biggest cities.

Moreover, Houston renters have easy access to a good mix of community amenities, with the city ranking 36th among the country’s biggest 100 cities. Outdoor space and pools are only some of the lifestyle amenities that many Houston residents are enjoying in their apartment complexes. Speaking of renters, Houston also ranked fifth for inbound renter migration among the country’s top 100 biggest cities, once more cementing its status as one of the most appealing cities for Americans on the move.

Self storage makes moving easier

Self storage, a service that most people use while moving, is very well developed in Houston. There are more than 300 facilities where you can rent a storage unit in Houston. Storage prices are also lower compared to cities of the same caliber: a 10×10 self storage unit in Houston rents for about $95 per month, compared to almost $120 in Austin and $115 in Dallas, for example.

The bustling economy leads to strong job creation

Houston not only attracts people, companies are also relocating here in high numbers, leading to sturdy job creation. Corporations such as Hewlett Packard, Amazon and, to name just a few, are relocating entirely to Houston, or creating additional headquarters here. In October alone, over 33,000 new jobs were created in Metro Houston – in other words, newcomers are not only gaining access to an affordable housing market, but also to well-paying jobs. In fact, Houston is ranking second among the country’s metros in attracting software and IT workers. However, it’s not just the IT guys flocking to Houston – it also ranked second as the best city for construction workers.

Houston has a global dimension

Innovation is in Houston’s DNA – naturally, for a city aiming for the stars from its NASA Johnson Space Center. This focus and drive on innovation turns Houston into one of the second-tier global cities of the future. The FDI Intelligence study looks at non-capital cities that capture the interest of foreign investors, and ranks Houston third overall, but also for human capital and lifestyle. Business friendliness, human talent, local education and productivity are just some of the things that position Houston high on the investors’ radar.

Healthcare and education

Access to high-quality education and healthcare services are important for families who are pondering whether to move to a new city or not, and Houston covers both those dimensions. The city hosts the largest medical center in the world, The Texas Medical Center, with over 60 medical institutions grouped together. Among them, there’s the Texas Children Hospital, one of the best pediatric hospitals in the country, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, ranked no. 1 nationally.

Rice University, Houston, Texas

The University of Houston is not only the #1 undergraduate school for entrepreneurship studies, according to The Princeton Review, but it’s also one of the most diverse universities in the country. According to the same Princeton Review study, Houston’s entrepreneurial streak becomes easier to explain, as another of its universities, Rice University, ranked number one nationally as a preferred graduate school for entrepreneurship studies.

City of amazing barbecues

Moving to Houston gets you access not just to affordable housing and a thriving job market, but also to an amazing food culture. From Tex-Mex to delicious barbecues, and more recently, due to its cultural diversity, to Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines, Houston represents an intersectional, innovative, up-an-coming culinary destination.

Houston ranked third this year in LawnStarter’s Best BBQ Cities in America. The city was also featured among the best foodie destinations in the US – and, if you want a taste of the absolute best burger in America, you should head to Houston and its Becks Prime burger joint.

From its booming economy and (still) consumer-friendly housing market to its diverse, innovative culture and relaxed lifestyle, Houston has many aces up its sleeves, turning it into one of the hottest relocation destinations in the country.


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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