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A bird's eye view of the homes at a Lifestyle by Hillwood community A bird's eye view of the homes at a Lifestyle by Hillwood community


Why Californians Are Moving to Texas

June 15, 2021

People are moving from California to Texas in droves, with over 80,000 Californians relocating in both 2018 and 2019, while the numbers of those heading in the other direction have remained largely the same. There’s no doubt a mass migration from California to Texas is happening. But the question remains: why are so many Californians moving to Texas?

The data shows it may be due to the cost of living in both states, particularly when it comes to housing. According to data compiled by MIT, housing currently costs 59% more in California than in Texas, and other expenses like food and childcare tend to be higher as well. Furthermore, any time home prices increase in California, the number of Californians moving to Texas spikes soon afterward. While California’s economic growth is still strong, it appears that Californians are leaving for Texas because they want more affordable housing.

Where Californians Are Moving to in Texas

Partly as a result of the influx of Californians into the state, a number of cities in Texas have seen a great deal of growth in the last few years. The cities that have seen the highest net growth include:

  • Austin
  • Midland
  • San Antonio
  • Sherman-Denison
  • Dallas – Fort Worth
  • Arlington
  • Houston
  • Odessa

Much of this growth has occurred in the last ten years, and it includes migrations from California.

The Effects on the Texas Real Estate Industry

Right now, existing home inventory in many cities in Texas is at an all-time low. This is causing homes to sell in record time and at record prices. Many homes are selling before they officially hit the market and others are selling for thousands over the asking price. Texas home sellers are enjoying hefty gains in this seller’s market. But for those who are moving to Texas from California, it can be difficult to find any home to buy, let alone one that fits all their criteria. 

Builders of new homes are also finding themselves extremely busy as those moving to Texas from California are opting to build new homes. This is an attractive option for many buyers who want to make the move but can’t find an available home or wish to opt for the customization that comes with the building process. 

Benefits of Moving from California to Texas

The cost of relocating from California to Texas can range anywhere from $1,000 to $6,500, depending on the time of year, the type of moving services used, and how much you’re hauling. Is moving worth the cost? Given the following benefits, it certainly seems to be.

Lower Cost of Homes

As we’ve already mentioned, Texas boasts much less expensive home prices than California. To make a comparison based on data from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, the average price of a home in Texas is $283,200 as of 2021. Popular cities have higher averages, of course, with Dallas home prices averaging around $341,300.

Compare that to the average price of a home in California. As of March of this year, the median home price in the state is over $750,000, an increase of nearly 24% over last year. Of special note is the San Francisco Bay Area, which saw the highest growth in home prices at 35%. With that price difference, it’s easy to see why Texas would be such an attractive destination for homeowners.

Lower Cost of Living in General

Housing aside, Texas also tends to have an overall lower cost of living than California. Texans spend less on food, healthcare, childcare, entertainment, dining out, pet care, and so on. In fact, the only area where California has Texas beat is in transportation costs (perhaps because Texans love our cars so much)! Overall, the cost of living in the Lone Star State is far lower than it is in California.

No State Income Taxes

Californians are likely used to paying taxes on both the federal and state level, which can be quite significant. However, Texas has no state income tax, which can amount to a savings of hundreds—or even thousands—on your yearly tax bill.

More Green Space

Finally, metropolitan areas in Texas have more green space per capita than California’s major cities. Among the 50 cities in the U.S. with the most green space per capita, four of Texas’s cities appear on the list, with Dallas appearing at number 30 with 27% of the city being reserved for parks and green space. In contrast, none of California’s major cities appear on the list.

Ready to Make the Move to Texas?

If you’re looking to relocate to Texas, we can give you some great places to start your search. At Hillwood Communities, we have nine master-planned communities in Texas offering homes in a variety of sizes and price ranges. Residents of Hillwood Communities enjoy all the benefits of small-town living such as great schools, abundant parks, and friendly neighbors, yet are still within a short drive of major metropolitan areas like Dallas, Houston, or Austin. Each of our master-planned communities has its own unique appeal, so to find the one that’s perfect for you, contact us today!