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Austin Voted No. 1 Place to Live by the U.S. News and World Report

​We saw this trend back in the early 2000's during the dot com boom when Time Magazine voted Austin one of the top ten cities to start a new business. And we all remember what happened then -- EVERYONE moved here. The city began to grow at a rate native Austinites such as myself had never experienced before. The city was woefully, and continues to be, underprepared for the massive influx of new residents.

“U.S. News analyzed 100 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there. Austin ranks as #1 with an overall score of 7.8 out of 10.“ - U.S. News & World Report

Here is a little bit more of a breakdown, according to the magazine on how they arrived at their rating:

  • Desirability — 8.4

  • Value — 7.3

  • Job Market — 7.5

  • Quality of Life — 7.3

  • Net Migration — 9.8

Today, before this latest "accolade", we were expecting roughly 200 new transplants per day. Which is in large part the reason behind the constant construction of new condo and apartment developments around town. On any given morning, as you head into downtown you can spy at least a dozen cranes looming over the city and the sounds of construction echoing from nearly every street. As I covered in a recent post, however, the cost of living in Austin continues to rise whereas corresponding incomes continue to stay flat making it nearly impossible for most Austinites to afford these overpriced flats. So, what does this mean for what could possibly be yet another massive wave of new residents to our metropolis?

This will all depend upon the economic status of the new transplants -- if they are in the upper 1% of America, then we can continue to see rents soar until we may even out-price areas of the country such as New York City and San Francisco. If the new residents are unable to afford the extravagant new construction this may mean a plateau of housing costs.

Now, the magazine claims that value score comes from comparing median income to median housing sales prices. However when it comes to affordability vs. income, it causes me to question whether the U.S. News and World Report took into account ALL incomes and ALL housing situations as opposed to merely the more glamorous and affluent aspects of our city?

So, what are your thoughts? Talk to us on Twitter @atxarchitect or on Facebook at

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