I was reading Forbes recently and saw an article that echoed what we’ve been saying and experiencing for a couple of years now. Having grown up the heart of the Silicon Valley, and witnessing the birth and explosion of the tech industry there, we are familiar with the stages of the growth process. When we were looking for places to relocate, we looked for cities that had a lot of the same characteristics, but were further back in its growth timeline and thus more affordable. Austin was starting to show signs the the tech industry was getting ready to explode and honestly, that’s a lot of why we chose Austin. Though at its infancy when we first relocated to Austin, the tech industry has grown significantly and is expected to continue.
Government Jobs Are No Longer the Driver of Austin’s Economy
The Austin economy is no longer fueled by government jobs and the university. Though those industries are still a big part of our economy, Austin’s tech industry is one of the fastest growing in the US. Not only are we seeing larger technology companies expand their world presence to Austin, we’re also starting to see startups, which is a sign our technology industry is poised for take off.
The Silicon Valley Real Estate Market is Not Ideal for Investors or Buyers
One of the reasons companies are expanding to cities like Austin is because of housing affordability for their workforce. Los Altos, one of the cities in the heart of the Silicon Valley, recently reported a median price of $2.3 million citywide. And, Silicon Valley rents are about as high as you can get at nearly $2,000 for a basic one bedroom apartment. If you are an investor looking to purchase homes to rent, or a tech company employee looking to purchase a home to live, Silicon Valley is not the ideal market. But, Austin might be.
Austin is Poised to be the Next Silicon Valley
Forbes looked at the following characteristics to come up with their list of cities poised to be the next Silicon Valley:
- Relatively low housing costs
- Low unemployment rates
- Median Tech salaries higher than median salary for the city’s total workforce
- The presence of major Tech companies
- Venture capital funding to spawn new business
Austin came out at the top of their list because of its young population, large venture capitalist presence, up and coming restaurant scene and music hub. This year, Austin was named #2 on Forbes’ Best U.S. Cities for Future Job Growth, #1 City in the US to Invest by Forbes, #2 city to invest by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the #10 Richest City in the US (and also most affordable on that list) and the best U.S. city for Millennials to buy a home in 2015. Notwithstanding all of those accolades, quality of life in Austin is much higher and our tech clients tell us Austin offices offer more of a work-life balance than they had in Silicon Valley.
Austin’s Affordability Attracts Home Buyers and Investors
Unlike Silicon Valley’s real estate market, the majority of tech employees and investors can compete in the Austin real estate market. Though our real estate market is strong, it is nothing compared to the real estate market in the Silicon Valley. Having worked in real estate in both cities, I can make that comparison with knowledge of both markets during their peak seasons.
What Other Cities Made the List?
Forbes named five to their list of cities poised to be the next Silicon Valley. Here is the rest of the list.
- Austin, TX
- Dallas, TX
- Seattle, WA
- Chicago, IL
- Miami, FL
You can read the rest of the article here.
Austin is Still the Best
All of these other cities are great, but we still think Austin is the best! We might be biased, but as the #2 fastest growing city in the US (recently dethroned from the #1 spot it held for years), it seems many people agree with us.
Considering Relocating to Austin from Silicon Valley?
We relocated to Austin from Silicon Valley about five years ago now and it was the best decision we made. We have a much higher quality of life, enjoy great weather 75% of the year and aren’t burdened with all of the fees and taxes we had in Silicon Valley. If you are thinking about a move and you are in the tech industry, I would highly encourage you to visit Austin. If you’ve already decided Austin is place, check out our Guide to Relocating to Austin and our Austin Relocation Blog for more tips.
Relocating to Austin from Silicon Valley and Need to Buy a Home?
We have helped many families relocate to Austin and buy a house and can help you and your family too. We know the entire city – from Georgetown to Kyle – and can help you find the best neighborhood where you’ll be happy. Check out our Austin Home Buyers page for more info. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com or fill out our Relocation Survey to get started.