Spurred by the 2008 U.S. recession, thousands of Californians have been making the decision to relocate to Austin, TX.
So what's going on?
California has long been the dream location for many. Picture year-round warm weather, gorgeous sandy beaches, endless blue skies, and that notorious laid-back attitude. It's hard to believe that anyone would want to move away from such a luxurious location.
The reality of the situation is that many Californians are realizing that this picturesque dream is just that; a dream.
California is becoming an increasingly difficult place to live and work. Well...relative to Austin at least.
The cost of living continues to grow, housing prices are astronomical, and though the active lifestyle, food industry, and arts and culture scene are outstanding, the lack of job market growth is stifling.
Austin has recently been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the number one metro area to live in this country. This is due to the low crime rate, steady job growth, stable housing market, and the desirable lifestyle of the city, not to mention the booming tech industry.
What it boils down to for many Californians is that Austin provides that dream of living in a sunny, mild climate where incredible food and beverage options are vast, and the arts and culture scene is alive, but with the ability to afford your home, and without the crippling cost of living.
Here are the top 5 reasons Californians are relocating to Austin, TX:
1. Strong Projected Population Growth
While many from across the U.S. are relocating to Austin, TX, those moving from California are by far the most notable.
How many people are moving here?
Between 2010 and 2014, Austin saw an increase of approximately 15,000 new residents from California alone. That's roughly 3,000 per year. Among the top-moving city residents are Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, San Bernardino, and Thousand Oaks.
It may seem surprising to see that many of the cities relocating to Austin are in the Southern California region and not in the Silicon Valley, considering Austin's the top ranking city for the tech industry. This is largely due to the increase in benefits Austin has to offer its residents without having to compromise the desirable climate Southern Californians are accustomed to.
When making the decision to relocate, the potential job market is often one of the most heavily ranked criterion considered.
Therefore, it's no wonder that Austin ranks high on the list for Californians as it hosts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. In fact, Austin is ranked as the third-highest metro city for job growth.
Austin has also recently been recognized as an ideal place for inventors and techies, as it's known as one of the top 10 cities for patent activity and startups. It's also worth noting that Austin ranks as number six in the world for venture capital investments.
Due to its steady job market and population growth, Austin is now referred to as the next 'Boomtown', meaning it has the best chance of thriving economically in the next 10 years.
If job and economic factors rank anywhere on your list of reasons to relocate, there's no question that Austin should be considered the best place to live in the U.S.
3. Endless Lifestyle Opportunities
Californians know that moving to Austin means their active lifestyles and filled social calendars won't change because there is an endless list of things to do in Austin, TX.
If food is your thing, Austin is for you! From food trucks to small eateries to fine dining restaurants, there are endless cuisine options. Choose from tacos, soul food, traditional Americana—there are all kinds of food options available for every palate.
Perhaps dinner and a show is more your style?
Noted as the best movie theater in the world by influencers such as Quentin Tarantino and Elijah Woods, the Alamo Drafthouse offers a unique movie-going experience, showing some of the best cult classics and, new films while serving food and beer.
Or maybe your prefer to hang out in one of the many local cafe and coffee bars, reading a good book or working on your next project.
You'll also want to check out one of the many food and beverage festivals that occur through the year including Beerfest: a beer tasting festival hosting a wide variety of breweries and craft beers.
Thanks to its mild climate, Austin has a wide variety of outdoor activities available too.
Not sure which area of Austin or San Antonio you want to settle in? Read up on JB Goodwin's comprehensive community guides:
There are many natural wonders around Austin like the Longhorn Caves or Mount Bonnell. Austin is one of the most active U.S. cities, encouraging residents to get out hiking or biking. Swimming is another popular activity in Barton Springs Pool, which stays a refreshing 70 degrees year-round, or in the stunning natural swimming grotto, Hamilton Pool Preserve.
One of the most popular Texan traditions is tailgating and in Austin, that is no exception! Gather on Saturday nights with your Austin neighbors in the fall to watch and celebrate the University of Texas Longhorns. This is one local experience you will not want to miss out on.
Whether you're single, a family, a young professional or well into retirement, there is something to appeal to everyone!
Though housing prices are on the rise, the Austin housing market is still priced significantly lower than many locations across the U.S. As of early 2017, the median house price in Austin is $289,000 with a 3-year appreciation rate of 25.2%.
With figures like these, there is no question as to why the Austin real estate market is booming. The piece to the Austin housing market puzzle is the city's low rate of foreclosures, which are among the lowest in the U.S.
If the cost of living and affordable housing prices aren't enough, Austin has also been noted as one of the top 10 U.S. cities for living the American dream.
5. Desirable Climate
When you think of desirable climates, California is often at the top of the list. So how can this be one of the reasons Californians are relocating to Austin?
Because Californians never have to sacrifice a day of sunshine, thanks to Austin's gorgeous climate.
Austin typically experiences 300 days of sunshine each year, meaning you can make use of your outdoor space the whole year-round. The temperate climate means there are no extremes, though the change from hot and dry to chilled and wet can happen quickly in Austin, giving the illusion of extreme weather.
Summers are typically hot and winters are mild, but you can expect the weather to be pleasant and comfortable all year. This gorgeous climate plays a role in Austin's ranking as the fifth friendliest city and fourth best city for dogs.
How can anyone be upset when the sun is shining and the dogs are playing?