The report says Austin, Texas, will become the least affordable major U.S. city by December for home-buyers, if you take all California locations out of the equation.
“By December, even if mortgage rates stay the same moving forward, home buyers in Austin should be prepared to spend 30.1% of their income on a mortgage — above the 30% housing-burdened threshold,” the report says. “The only markets that will be less-affordable than Austin at the end of the year are all in typically pricey California: Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco.”
Currently, Austin is still less expensive for home-buyers than three other major markets, but the Texas capital is expected to overtake Seattle, Miami and NYC in the coming months, Zillow’s report predicts.
Zillow’s data further suggests that Austin is becoming more expensive as a result of home-seekers fleeing more expensive California markets for Austin, where home prices are generally lower. According to Zillow’s 2021 mover report from April, Austin was a top destination for residents who moved out of San Francisco between March 2020 and Jan. 2021.
This migration from the Bay Area area, sometimes called the “Bay Area exodus,” also sent buyers to Phoenix, Arizona, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Together with Austin, these three markets saw the highest net inbound moves in the first 11 months of 2020.
With increases expected to hit Austin home-seekers in the coming months, Zillow recommends the local government relieve the expensive burden from current residents by relaxing zoning restrictions and make it easier to build more high-density housing like townhomes and condos.