Austin vs Dallas- How to Choose?

housing market, austin housing market, austin housing, austin market, austin real estate, austin realtor, austin home prices Jennifer Martin August 7, 2023

Dallas vs Austin- HOW TO CHOOSE??

Locals and newcomers from other states are all eager to possess a piece of the real estate that defines the splendid neighborhoods offered by both cities. Austin, experiencing a remarkable surge in growth, has seen its real estate value skyrocket in recent years. Similarly, Dallas has also witnessed a significant rise in premium real estate, making it a competitive market for buyers seeking growth opportunities. The decision of which metropolitan city is more suitable for investment can be a challenging one, but fear not, this article will delve into the unique aspects of living in Dallas and Austin.

Employment Opportunities

Finding a job is a crucial factor in choosing where to settle down. Fortunately, both Dallas and Austin outshine many other cities in the country in terms of employment prospects. The tech industry, in particular, has played a pivotal role in driving rapid growth in both urban centers.

Austin ranks 23rd out of the 180 largest U.S. metropolitan areas,  backed by over 25% job growth in the past decade.

Dallas secured the 112th rank,  housing over 1,000 corporate headquarters, making the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex one of the largest concentrations of company headquarters in the nation. Other large companies like American Airlines and Southwest Airlines,  Verizon, Texas Instruments, JP Morgan Chase, and Lockheed Martin, all headquarter in Dallas, ensuring an array of job opportunities in the DFW area.

Likewise, Austin also hosts several prominent companies, including Google, Amazon, Facebook, and recently, the headquarters of Elon Musk's Tesla Motors. The majority of Austin's major companies specialize in the tech industry, making it a hub of innovation.

Housing Costs

Both Austin and Dallas present a diverse array of homes, ranging from chic downtown areas and trendy neighborhoods to family-friendly locales. Considering the size difference between Dallas and Austin, one might expect housing costs in Dallas to be higher. Surprisingly, this is not the case.

In recent data, Dallas real estate tends to be more affordable compared to Austin. The median home cost in Dallas stands at $259,800, while the same figure for Austin is $551,200. The median home cost in Austin is approximately 112% higher, largely due to the significant disparity in housing prices.

Prospective buyers are also more likely to find newer constructions in Austin compared to Dallas. However, the age of a home significantly influences its price, varying across different neighborhoods in both cities.

Here's a breakdown of key housing statistics for Dallas, Austin, and the USA:

Dallas | Austin | USA
Median Home Cost | $259,800 | $551,200 | $291,700
Median Home Age | 42 | 31 | 41
Average Rent | $1,662 | $1,730 | $1,681
Homes Owned | 36.5% | 41.4% | 56.2%
Rented Homes | 52.9% | 50.3% | 31.6%

For those inclined towards renting, the average rent for an apartment in Dallas is $1,662, while a similar apartment in Austin costs $1,730. With this in mind, Dallas offers a more attractive option for budget-conscious buyers looking for a home with the potential for continuous appreciation.

Cost of Living

Dallas boasts a relatively affordable cost of living index at 101 when compared to other metropolitan cities in the country. Conversely, Austin's cost of living index is 28.1% higher than that of Dallas, making it more expensive in relative terms within Texas.

Here's a detailed breakdown of the cost of living index for Dallas and Austin:

Cost of Living Index | Dallas | Austin | Difference
Food & Groceries | 99.1 | 96.7 | 2.4% less
Transportation | 117.1 | 109.9 | 6.1% less
Utilities | 100 | 99.1 | 0.9% less
Health | 98.1 | 101.6 | 3.6% more
Overall Index | 101 | 129.4 | 28.1% more

Crime Rate
When considering crime rates in Dallas versus Austin, it's essential to acknowledge that larger cities typically experience higher crime rates. One might point to Austin's high murder rate over a 10-year period, but this doesn't necessarily indicate that Austin is more crime-prone than Dallas. Based on the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System, Austin's crime rate sits somewhere in the middle when compared to 21 cities of similar size.

In 2019, Austin reported 79,931 crimes within city limits, while Dallas, with a population of 1.3 million, recorded 95,428 crimes during the same period. Taking their respective populations into account, the crime rates in both cities even out.

Transportation Network
Both Dallas and Austin primarily rely on personal vehicles for commuting, making them predominantly car-centric cities. 

Regarding mass transit, Dallas boasts the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system, operating buses, light rails, streetcars, and trolleys within the city, extending to the suburbs. Austin's CapMetro system includes Metro Rail trains and buses that connect downtown Austin to suburbs like Leander. Additionally, Austin's reputation for being bike and scooter-friendly is evident through services like Jump Bikes, B-Cycle, Lime, and Bird. However, Dallas's foray into bike-sharing has faced some challenges, met with resistance from local businesses and residents.


Spectator Sports

Both Dallas and Austin offer a plethora of options for sports enthusiasts. Dallas outshines Austin in terms of professional sports teams. It plays host to world-class events like the World Series and the Super Bowl and is home to several pro teams, including the Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys, FC Dallas, and Dallas Mavericks.

In contrast, Austin tends to focus more on college sports, with the University of Texas football team drawing significant attention. Professional sports enthusiasts in the Texas capital city root for teams like Austin FC and the Round Rock Express.

Where to Shop
For shopping enthusiasts, Dallas presents a shopping paradise. Shoppers can indulge in a range of retail adventures, from budget-friendly and family-oriented sprees to high-end luxury brands. Top shopping destinations include Highland Park Village, NorthPark Center, and Galleria Dallas. Smaller gems in neighborhoods like Knox/Henderson and the Design District ensure there's no shortage of places to shop till you drop.

Austin also offers a satisfying retail therapy experience. Various neighborhoods, such as 6th and Lamar, SoCo, and 2nd Street District, boast a mix of locally-owned shops and eclectic high-fashion outlets. The city's top shopping malls, including The Arboretum at Great Hills and Barton Creek Square, cater to diverse preferences.

For those seeking unique gifts, Austin's shopping scene is a treasure trove. Stores like Allens Boots, Uncommon Objects, and Sunroom offer a wide array of high-end home goods and eccentric gift options, adding to the city's reputation for being extravagant, quirky, and a little over the top.

Vibrant Nightlife

If you're into an exciting nightlife, Austin is renowned for its vibrant entertainment scene. As the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World, the city boasts over 250 live music venues covering every music genre imaginable. The 6th Street District, in particular, is famous for its enthralling entertainment options.

Dallas, too, has its fair share of entertainment venues, including the lively Deep Ellum neighborhood, attracting artists from all backgrounds. The Texas Live complex in Arlington offers a variety of bars and restaurants, where local and visiting bands entertain the crowds. While Austin may have the edge as the live music capital of Texas, Dallas provides a more diverse selection of sports-themed hangouts and bars.

Local Schools

Both Dallas and Austin take pride in their excellent schools. Dallas boasts three high schools that made it into the top 10 high schools in Texas, as per the U.S. News list. In comparison, Austin had only one school on that list.

Top Dallas High Schools:

  1. School for the Talented & Gifted
  2. Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School
  3. Science & Engineering Magnet School (SEM)

Top Austin High School:

  1. Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA)

In terms of higher education, the Dallas area is home to 37 colleges and universities, including the University of Dallas and Southern Methodist University. Austin, with its "college town" reputation, hosts 15 colleges. The University of Texas at Austin (UTA), one of the largest and highest-ranked universities in the U.S., adds to Austin's appeal as a city with a strong academic presence, particularly with the cult-like following of its football team, the Longhorns.

Freedom and Vibe

The cities' atmospheres differ significantly when it comes to the overall vibe. Dallas projects a more business-oriented, refined, and upscale environment, with a perception of being somewhat materialistic across the country. On the other hand, Austin has a laid-back, funky, and fun-loving vibe, often associated with a hip and accepting culture. Austin's famous slogan "Keep Austin Weird" reflects the city's commitment to embrace individuality and uniqueness.

Closing Thoughts

For buyers prioritizing value and space in their investment, Dallas emerges as the ideal destination. On the other hand, Austin offers a better fit for those willing to invest in an easier commute to work or school, coupled with an abundance of entertainment options. Both cities have their unique charm and advantages, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference and priorities.

If Austin aligns with your ideal destination, don't hesitate to reach out to me, I'll help you make your dream home a reality.

Recent Blog Posts

Stay up to date on the latest real estate trends.

Investing in a Duplex?

For first time investors, multi family might be the best choice.

Dripping Springs, move to Dripping Springs, relocate to Dripping Springs, relocate to Austin, relocate to south Austin, relocate to west Austin, relocate to southwest Austin, southwest Austin, south Austin, Austin, moving to Austin, move to Austin, move to Dripping Springs, moving to Dripping Springs

Highpointe and Belterra

The Best Community Pools in Southwest Austin

Homeowners Insurance: Time for an Annual Checkup

Rate Buy Downs- What is it?

home renovation, home updates, home update, update your home, update my home, renovation, interior design, fixer upper

13 Small (and Affordable) Home Upgrades for Big Impact

Best Bang for your Buck Home Improvements in Austin 2023

home renovation, home updates, home update, update your home, update my home, renovation, interior design, fixer upper

5 *INexpensive* Interior Updates that Pay off

Dripping Springs, move to Dripping Springs, relocate to Dripping Springs, relocate to Austin, relocate to south Austin, relocate to west Austin, relocate to southwest Austin, southwest Austin, south Austin, Austin, moving to Austin, move to Austin, move to Dripping Springs, moving to Dripping Springs

Headwaters, Caliterra, Sweetwater, and Bunker Ranch Estates

Four top Dripping Springs Neighborhoods

housing market, austin housing market, austin housing, austin market, austin real estate, austin realtor, austin home prices

Austin vs Dallas- How to Choose?

Jobs, Nightlife, Affordability- a Comparison

austin, oakhill, construction, oakhill parkway, the y at oakhill, construction updates, austin roads, austin traffic, traffic, austin congestion, real estate, sw austin, southwest austin

Oakhill Parkway- History, Current Status and Future Development

25 years in the making

Work With Jen

Get assistance in determining current property value, crafting a competitive offer, writing and negotiating a contract, and much more. Contact Jen today.