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5 Texas Counties Top List Of Most Affordable Places To Move

Nationwide housing affordability map

The influx of people moving to Texas is strongly related to statewide housing affordability, according to a new report from RentCafé. A housing-related concern is the No. 1 reason people move, with more than half of those who relocated last year naming that as the impetus to RentCafé. A work-related relocation came in second, at 18%.  

Five Texas counties — Denton (No. 2), Fort Bend (No. 4), Collin (No. 6), Bexar (No. 8) and Williamson (No. 9) — made the top 10 list of inbound net domestic migration

Denton's domestic population increased by 96,000 residents, and Fort Bend added 92,000 people. The report also noted that 86,000 new residents moved to Collins, 81,000 to Bexar and 74,000 to Williamson.  

"Moving away from an expensive, so-called first-tier metro to a more affordable second-tier metro is a major trend frequently referred to as affordable migration," the report states. "Affordability migration turns top-tier metros into losers and second-tier metros [into] winners." 

Second-tier metros though they may be, the population growth is pouring in near the state's major metros: Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

All of the Texas counties were designated by RentCafé as "most affordable" based on the home price by income ratio and rent as a percentage of income. 

The price of a home in the top 10 counties where people are moving is from 3.3 times to 5.8 times the median income. On the flip side, the top places people are fleeing range from 3 times to 12.2 times the median income. 

In Denton County, the median income is $86K, while the average home cost $330K or 3.8% of a yearly income. The average renter pays 15% of income toward housing.   

Major counties like Los Angeles and New York made the list of the largest outbound domestic migration. Los Angeles County lost 381,000 residents while the four New York boroughs saw a population decrease that ranged from 192,000 in Brooklyn to 100,000 in Manhattan.

Domestic population growth is calculated by subtracting the total outbound domestic migration from the total inbound domestic migration over a five-year period between 2012 and 2017, according to the report.