Austin is cool, Austin is hot, Austin is weird. Tech employees and tech leaders are heading migration headlines, largely attracted by Austin’s newfound love for tech. Tesla, Google, Amazon, Apple, SpaceX, Facebook and Oracle are a few of the big names relocating or setting up shop in the capital of Texas.

But it’s not just the tech field that’s booming. It seems like everybody wants a piece of the Austin pie these days. The capital city of the Lone Star State has seen a 21% increase in population (34% increase in the entire metro area) over the past decade. Austin was the fastest growing US metro area with at least 1M residents last year. The city is currently in a booming period and most voices agree that the rise will continue for the foreseeable future.

If you’re considering a move to Austin yourself, here’s what you can expect in terms of costs, employment opportunities, leisure and overall urban experience.

Austin is the best place to live in Texas and one of the most popular relocation destinations in the US


Austin takes the (Texan) cake in a lot of respects. The city attracts more out-of-state renters than other Texas hotspots, according to research carried out by StorageCafe. The same research shows that unemployment in Austin dropped from 12.5% in April 2020 to 4.9% in December 2020 – significantly under the national unemployment rate of 6.7%. The most recent stats illustrate an unemployment rate that has dropped below 4% in the summer of 2021.

Employment and cost of living are Austin’s biggest draws

The growing job market is one of Austin’s strongest points in attracting new residents. The tech field, one of the hottest industries in the city, features some of the biggest players, including Apple, Dell, Oracle, Amazon, Facebook and Google, among others. Education, healthcare, retail and manufacturing are also top-performing industries in Austin. Average individual salaries exceed $70K per year, and the cost of living is only 3% higher than the national average, making Austin more affordable than other big US metros.

The best paying jobs in Austin tend to include physicians, financial managers, chief executives, lawyers and judges, so there is something for every skillset. People in these positions have average annual salaries that exceed $150K.

Austin’s culture: vast and varied

To say that Austin is well-known for its culture and entertainment is an understatement. The city became known as the Live Music Capital of the World due to its great venues and famous festivals (Austin City Limits and South by Southwest, to name just a couple). As it is the capital of Texas, it’s also a great place for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts and museum visitors. The exceptional food, the great nightlife and the friendly people make up Austin’s unique pattern of cultural diversity.


From hiking and nightlife, to food and shopping – Austin is home to great leisure options

Austin is full of life, and that means great leisure activities and appealing attractions throughout the city and its surroundings. Some of the most satisfying and common pastimes for residents include visiting the majestic Texas Capitol, enjoying an afternoon at Zilker Park and tasting Latino cuisine in the trendy neighborhood of Holly. Of course, a lot of people are also interested in exploring the downtown area, along with its multitude of live music venues. Likewise, you can enjoy a cruise on Lady Bird Lake, get a taste of the famous original Texas BBQ, go shopping at The Domain and immerse yourself in the variety of museums.

Don’t forget about the iconic places that are sure to fit into any Texan bucket list. South Congress Avenue is a famous thoroughfare recognized for its architectural and historical significance. It cuts through the middle of the city, and is filled with hip boutiques, original eateries and music venues, including the well-known Continental Club (the premiere club for live music, enjoying a coast-to-coast reputation). Strolling down SoCo Avenue will get you to the iconic Congress Avenue Bridge, where you can watch the world’s largest urban bat colony take flight every evening.

If you’re more interested in what Austin has to offer in terms of bars, food and nightlife, make sure to spend an evening around Rainey Street’s entertainment district, a really popular urban hotspot. Moreover, standing in line and having a meal at Franklin Barbecue is a must for foodies, as the restaurant is an emblematic and bustling spot with a renowned reputation. Finally, while Austin does not have any major league sports teams apart from the city’s soccer club, attending a Texan Longhorns game will certainly let you experience the atmosphere and excitement of major league games first-hand, despite it being a collegiate team.

What buying or renting in Austin is like

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to know the background of Austin’s real estate market in order to adjust your expectations. The fact that the Texas market is on fire right now is not breaking news anymore. Out of the big cities in the state, Austin has seen the most explosive growth.

It’s true that prices have been on an ascending path, but the good thing is that the market as a whole is clearly poised for more growth. Whether you want to rent or buy, this is a good moment to invest in Austin. Prices will more likely continue to grow, possibly at an even more accelerated pace, as most sources forecast further growth.

Rents in Austin


There has been a growing interest in apartments, mostly coming from tech workers who look for convenience and amenities in their housing choices. Competent sources agree that the high demand for rental properties will continue, so you can expect the market to remain competitive. However, Austin remains an affordable market compared to other popular US metros that offer similar employment opportunities, urban amenities and vibrant city life.  The average rent in Austin hovers around $1,600, according to RentCafe – just slightly above the national average ($1,539).

Naturally, prices differ based on location and you’ll find pricier apartments downtown Austin ($2,900), Tarrytown ($2,800) or Clarksville ($2,800), but there are plenty of other neighborhoods that offer a great bang for the buck, including Westlake ($1,700), Barton Hills ($1,700), Circle C ($1,600), Mueller ($1,500) and Avery Ranch ($1,500).

Austin’s home prices

The median home value in the city reached $300K in 2019 and has almost doubled since then. Despite this incredible boom, home prices are expected to increase even further, as new supply is still somewhat low and demand keeps climbing. In fact, the Austin Housing and Planning Department expects the metro area to grow by 2% every year until 2050.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that Austin takes the third place in the ranking of US cities with the biggest home lots – the median home size increased by 84% over the past century, according to StorageCafe research. So, that means buying a home in Austin will get you a bigger home than in most other places.

The market is indeed competitive, but there are still plenty of good single-family home options available in Austin. You can start by looking into Round Rock, Buda, Pflugerville and Leander.  These are all wonderful places to live if quiet, suburban settings are what you are looking for. Also worth exploring are Hyde Park, Allandale, Georgetown and Shady Hollow, all featuring great housing choices with tree-lined streets and historic charm.


Self storage in Austin

With a booming real estate market comes an equally booming self storage industry. A StorageCafe study showed that Austin offers around 10 square feet of storage space per capita and that only two other big US cities provide their residents with more space (Houston, TX and Charleston, SC). Moreover, the city of Austin offers more than a hundred storage facilities to choose from, and the street rate of a 5’x10’ unit is currently around $100, while the standard 10’x10’ unit will set you back $175 on average.

Considering the high number of relocations, it is no surprise that there is major interest in self storage in the area. In fact, Austin is the second city in the country in terms of storage-related online searches, bested only by San Diego. On average, there are around 5,800 online queries linked to self storage in San Diego every month. While the difference between Austin and the first spot (San Diego) is insignificant in terms of number of searches – only 60 more for the latter, it is considerable in terms of prices, as the same 10’x10’ unit costs almost $50 more in SoCal. This just goes to show, one more time, how affordable and welcoming of new residents Austin really is, compared to Californian hotspots.

If you’re also thinking about getting in on the act and taking advantage of what the city of Austin has to offer in terms of culture, employment and recreation, consider StorageCafe to help you with your relocation process. Depending on your needs, we will help you find the perfect storage solution in Austin.


Matei is a creative writer for StorageCafe and has an academic background in urban development, governance and linguistics. Making use of these disparate sources of expertise, Matei has now turned towards the real estate industry, after covering the latest trends and projects in urban planning, regeneration and green city initiatives all over Europe.

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