Cost of Living

Texas consistently ranks as one of the nation's most favorable business climates based on its low tax burden and competitive regulatory environment. In Texas, aggregate costs for real estate, energy, wages and taxes are below most states in the country.

Compared to other major business centers, Austin is well known for offering affordable living. The National Association of Realtors reports that the median home price in Austin was $240,700 in 2014 while the national median was $209,000. The National Association of Home Builders, which also produces median home price estimates, has a slightly narrower difference between Austin and the nation. Their third quarter 2014 estimate for Austin is $244,000 and the national estimate is $221,000. NAHB estimates that 61.2% of homes sold in Austin are affordable to households earning Austin's median family income – close to the 61.8% national affordability rate.

Texas features no personal or corporate income tax, and overall the state has one of the lowest state and local tax burdens in the nation, ranking 41st among the 50 states in taxes paid per $1000 of personal income.

Cost of Living Index, 2014 (U.S.=100)

Cost of Living Calculator

Source: The Council for Community & Economic Research, Cost of Living Index.

Median Home Price, Existing Single-Family Homes

  2012 2013 2014 Percent change
2012-2013 2013-2014
Austin MSA $206,000 $222,900 $240,700 8.2% 8.0%
United States $177,200 $197,400 $209,000 11.4% 5.9%

Median Home Price, 2014

Source: National Association of Realtors.

Average Home Price, 4-Bedroom, 2-Full Bath Homes

Submarket 2014
 Austin $369,510
 Cedar Park $265,844
 Georgetown $255,833
 Leander $202,931
 Pflugerville $212,988
 Round Rock $236,850
 San Marcos $193,260
United States $295,317

Source: Coldwell Banker.

Median Apartment Rents, 2014

  1 bedroom 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms
Austin MSA $853 $1,074 $1,454
U.S. Metros* $857 $1,069 $1,440

*weighted average of medians for all U.S. metros.
Source: U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Note: Time series of annual and monthly numbers for home prices and other housing market indicators are updated monthly on the Chamber's Economic Indicators page.

Tax Burden, 2012

  Texas United States
State & local taxes per capita, total $3,750 $4,423
   Property 1,547 1,421
   Sales and gross receipts 1,741 1,518
   Individual income - 979
   Corporate income - 156
   Other 463 348
State and local taxes per $1000 of personal income 87 100

State & Local Taxes Per Capita, 2012

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, State & Local Government Finances.

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