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 $206,000 in 2012 while the national median was $177,200. The National Association of Home Builders, which also produces median home price estimates, has a narrower difference between Austin and the nation. Their first quarter 2012 estimate for Austin is $184,000 and the national estimate is $162,000. NAHB estimates that 75.9% of homes sold in Austin are affordable to households earning Austin's median family income – similar to the 77.5% 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 42nd among the 50 states in taxes paid per $1000 of personal income.

Cost of Living Index, Year Ending 2013 Q2 (U.S.=100)

  Composite Grocery
(13.56%)
Housing
(27.02%)
Utilties
(10.30%)
Transp.
(12.35%)
Health
care
(4.60%)
Misc.
(32.17%)
Atlanta 95.0 94.3 85.2 91.9 102.7 102.7 100.5
Austin 93.5 85.3 86.2 93.6 98.3 101.2 100.1
Boston 140.1 123.2 175.8 148.4 105.2 123.7 130.2
Chicago 115.1 102.6 134.5 103.5 124.9 96.8 106.5
Dallas 96.1 92.1 76.6 115.2 103.9 98.6 104.7
Denver 104.0 90.9 115.1 95.6 99.5 106.3 104.1
Los Angeles 129.8 100.4 197.0 105.3 110.6 108.5 104.1
NY (Manhattan) 224.1 139.1 453.2 130.6 124.8 118.5 150.6
Phoenix 95.5 94.4 95.4 96.3 100.9 94.6 93.9
Raleigh 91.1 100.5 71.8 105.1 94.9 96.8 96.4
Salt Lake City 94.7 88.9 88.4 83.6 101.6 99.2 102.5
San Francisco 162.7 116.1 296.8 95.2 112.9 115.6 117.3

Cost of Living Index, Year Ending 2013 Q2

Cost of Living Calculator

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

Median Home Price, Existing Single-Family Homes

  2010 2011 2012 Percent change
2010-2011 2011-2012
Austin MSA $193,600 $193,100 $206,000 -0.3% 6.7%
United States $173,100 $166,200 $176,900 -4.0% 6.4%

Median Home Price, 2012

Source: National Association of Realtors.

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

Submarket 2013
Austin MSA  
 Austin $304,585
 Buda $215,309
 Cedar Park $234,621
 Georgetown $237,191
 Kyle $159,726
 Leander $179,771
 Pflugerville $178,346
 Round Rock $226,457
 San Marcos $188,667
United States $301,414

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, 2011

  Texas United States
State & local taxes per capita, total $3,542 $4,296
   Property 1,545 1,423
   Sales and gross receipts 1,600 1,479
   Individual income - 914
   Corporate income - 156
   Other 397 324
State and local taxes per $1000 of personal income 88 103

State & Local Taxes Per Capita, 2011

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

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