Perhaps it seems like common wisdom that Austin is one of the country’s more expensive housing markets. A recent report from real estate research site PropertyShark, however, seems to indicate otherwise—at least when measured against other large U.S. cities.
The site took the approximate national home-price median of $200,000 and penciled out what that might buy in major markets nationwide. Turns out that in Austin it would buy 1,341 square feet of living space.
While that amount of space is less than many local buyers are looking for, it’s positively McMansion-esque compared to what the same amount gets in such obvious money sucks as Manhattan (126 feet square feet), San Jose (aka Silicon Valley, 376 square feet), and San Francisco (260 feet)—in addition to popular cities such as Boston (371 square feet), Washington, D.C. (423 square feet), Denver (661 square feet), and Seattle (525 square feet).
Not surprisingly, the bang-for-buck equation is highest primarily in the South and Southwest, including pretty much every large Texas city. In San Antonio, for instance, $200,000 will get you around 3,249 square feet. That might explain why so many Austinites seem to be moving down the road.