The capital of Texas, Austin, has plenty to offer for young professionals and families, from a thriving night life to world-class employers. With these factors driving millennials to move to Austin, investors in Austin investment properties could expect to see more housing demand.
Here are five reasons why millennials love Austin:
1. Job growth
According to Forbes, Austin was the No. 2 best city for future job growth with the city expected to see employment rise by 4.1 percent. Austin is the headquarters for organic and natural foods retailer Whole Foods as well as the location for other major employers like Dell, Apple and Google. The concentration of tech giants earned Austin the “Silicon Hills,” paralleling California’s Silicon Valley popularity with companies. Employment within tech firms has also pushed incomes of residents up, with the average median household income in Texas reaching $58,932, according to Forbes.
2. Events/night life
Millennials often want to live in places where there is a great night life and entertainment. Austin has renowned festivals and a night life that rivals other larger cities. Austin’s 6th Street is famous for its restaurants and bars, which almost always seem to feature musical acts to dance the night away. No wonder Austin also has a reputation for being the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Austin is also the home to the South by Southwest Music Festival, which draws big musical acts, films and artists. In 2014, the festival handed out 150,000 guest passes to participants in Austin and had 44,500 registrants for its core events in the same year.
Other festivities include Austin City Limits and even motor sports events.
“Austin City Limits, another major music festival for the city, held annually, has added a second weekend of festivities this year,” said Tabitha A. Gonzales, investment location manager for the Austin market. “Approximately 75,000 people attend each day. [The year] 2012 saw the completion of the city’s first Formula One racetrack, Circuit of the Americas. The F1 event – America’s first since 2007 – brought in 300,000 people and an estimated $500 million dollars to the city.”
According to the National Association of Realtors, Austin is one of the real estate markets for millennials, who are often saddled with student debt. The city also placed No. 2 on the list of Best Cities and Neighborhoods for millennials in Forbes.
“Limited job prospects, student debt and flat wage growth have combined with tight credit conditions and low inventory to price millennials out of some of the top cities such as New York and San Francisco,” said Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist.
Yun said the NAR research indicates millennials are moving to where job growth is strong.
Millennials want to buy homes after renting may find that the prices and inventory selection in the city make owning a home easier than other metropolitan areas. Although homes have been rising in price, millennials often choose to rent to avoid the hassle of maintaining a home and paying for other expenses like property taxes.
Residents ranging between 25 and 34 account for 17 percent of Austin’s population, higher than the 15 percent measured in both the metropolitan areas of Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, Houston Business Journal reported.
4. Outdoor activities and fitness
While Austin has indoor activities, there are also things to do for residents who crave being outdoors. There are 206 parks near Austin as well as other areas of green space where residents enjoy walks, including more than 50 miles of trails and 12 preserves. For more extreme fitness activities, there is also the chance to kayak at Lady Bird Lake. Equipped with the outdoor landscape that facilities residents’ commitment to health, Austin was also called the No. 1 Fittest City in the U.S. by the American College of Sport Medicine.
5. Emphasis on environmental sustainability
With many millennials conscious about the impact they have on the environment, younger residents in Austin love the city’s emphasis on sustainability. The city was named one of the top 10 green cities in the U.S. after selling more renewable energy than any other in the nation. The city also aims to be carbon neutral by 2020 through using renewable sources of power.
With more millennials moving to Austin, real estate investors should anticipate strong demand for rental properties as young professionals often aim to rent before buying a permanent home.