Bargains in residential real estate continue to drive migration from California to Texas.

A study by StorageCafe found that average housing costs in Texas are about 70% lower than in the Golden State, which equates to a difference of $282,000. People who move from San Jose to the Dallas area can save more than $1 million on a home purchase, as the median home price in Santa Clara County is 258% higher than in Dallas County. The difference in home prices between San Mateo and Travis counties is 243%, representing annual savings of nearly $1.3 million.

Housing affordability, a strong job market and no state income tax began driving Californians to the Lone Star State in the late 2010s. The study found a surge in immigration in 2021, with about 111,000 people leaving the Golden State for Texas as their new home.

The number of Californians moving to Texas each year hovered around 85,000 from 2018 to 2020. Perhaps the remote working movement sparked by the pandemic is responsible for the big gains in 2021, as it gives people the chance to benefit from a friendlier real estate market while maintaining relatively well-paying jobs.

Since 2020, more than 100 companies have relocated their headquarters to Texas, 40% of which are from California.These include major tech companies such as Tesla, Oracle and HP

Most of the relocations took place in North Texas, where nearly 25,000 Californians relocated in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties in 2021. However, the most populated route is from Los Angeles County to Travis County, which includes Austin and fast-growing suburbs like Round Rock and Pflugerville. About 3,500 people have chosen this path, with Los Angeles County being the main source of new residents.

About 46 percent of those who moved from California to Texas were millennials. The average annual household income for this cohort of movers was $114,300, compared with the national median household income for millennials of $94,300. Gen X has the second largest occupancy at 21%, followed by Baby Boomers at 15%.

The Lone Star State also offers significantly lower rents for millennials and Gen Zs who aren’t quite ready to buy a home. Renters can save over $1,000 per month on 18 California to Texas routes. Median rents differ the most in Los Angeles County and El Paso County, with the latter about $1,600 less per month.

— Quinn Donoghue

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