There are dozens of great cities to live in Texas, but I often have clients relocating to Texas that have to choose between living in Austin and living in Houston. Both cities offer family-friendly neighborhoods, wonderful things to do, and great schools. However, as anyone who has visited both cities knows, there are key differences between the two cities that distinguished them from each other. Here’s how Austin compares to Houston:
The Real Estate Market in Austin and Houston, TX
When it comes to real estate, you’ll find great homes in both Austin and Houston. Both markets offer houses that feature spacious living areas, beautifully-landscaped yards, and luxurious master suites. However, the differences lie in home prices and sales. Houston has a cheaper median listing price for homes ($185,000 compared to Austin’s $285,000), but if you are looking for long-term appreciation on your home, Austin homes tend to go up in value over time more quickly than Houston. Also, Austin has a higher average income ($42,689 vs $36,616 in Houston), so that may impact your bottom line long-term as well.
In regards to real estate, if you’re looking for less expensive homes, Houston may deserve a closer look. However, in the long run, Austin will have a better impact in the future due to the higher household income and the amount your home will appreciate over time.
Businesses in Austin and Houston
Austin: Since 2011, Austin has been continually ranked number one for starting a business. There are many large corporations based in Austin, including Apple, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Facebook and Google. Jobs are plentiful, especially if you’re into technology.
Houston: Houston also enjoys the economical benefits of many large home-based corporations. Unlike Austin, however, Houston is home to several construction companies, including Transworld, Humphries, Linbeck and W.S. Bellows Construction Companies. Because Houston is a larger city, there are more jobs overall.
Quality of Life & Living Experience
Both cities offer different living experiences when matched against one another. From Travelandleisure.com’s ratings, Austin outranks Houston in categories like cleanliness, safety, public parks, outdoor access, and architecture. Houston, however, beats out Austin in affordability. In general, you might find less expensive real estate in Houston and a cheaper cost of living, but Austin offers families and young professionals a cleaner and safer city. Families can enjoy more of that “peace and quiet” that is so coveted when choosing a place to settle down in as well as Austin is a much smaller city.
For young professionals, there’s a bigger nightlife scene in Austin than there is in Houston. Music festivals are held regularly around the city and there’s plenty of bars worth visiting. There’s also a higher tech audience in Austin, due to major companies like Google and Facebook (not to mention all the start-ups). Houston, however, is stronger in culture arts because of its large number of theaters and performance arts organizations.
For more information on the differences between the cities, visit Travel & Leisure’s website: click here. And if you want to get a deeper feel for Austin, read our featured articles:
- Why Austin is a Great Place to Live In
- Austin’s Food Carts
- Austin’s School System & Education (Eanes ISD & Austin ISD)
Who Won – Austin or Houston?
When you measure up both cities, they each have their advantages and disadvantages. The best thing you can do is search around and read more about the cities. There’s tons more to each destination than simple facts and figures — and at times they can only be uncovered bit by bit. Our recommendation is to talk to a real estate agent in the area. They always have tidbits and suggestions that could easily complement your lifestyle. Contact us today for more details (click here) or search our current home listings!