America's New Boom Towns

By Zachary Elias | February 24, 2022

The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the US housing market, the workplace, and life in general cannot be understated. All facets of existence have been altered by this cataclysmic event that has not only challenged us as a people; but tested our both individual and societal limits. These effects can be clearly seen upon examination of the migration of people from traditional metropolitan areas (e.g., New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago) to sunbelt cities, particularly Austin, Texas, and Tampa, Florida.

Let’s start with Austin first. Austin, Texas is the capital of the Lonestar state and has always been known for being “weird”, hence Matthew McConougheys’ “Keep Austin Weird” campaign. Austin is commonly known as the lone blueberry in the apple pie that is Texas, meaning that Austin is a liberal city in a relatively conservative state. Because of this, disenchanted urbanites from LA and New York have been flocking to Austin for its culture, low taxes, and weather. Now that work is remote for many, there is no need to reside in expensive cities, like New York or Boston, living in a 1-bedroom apartment when you can get a house or more spacious and new apartment in Austin. Not to mention the attractive work opportunities with companies such as Dell, Tesla, and a plethora of other tech companies. With lower taxes, hot job growth, and better weather than New York, Chicago, and Boston it is easy to see why Austin is winning out over the traditional metro areas.

Similarly, Tampa, Florida is another sunbelt city that has seen rapid growth in the past year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Tampa real estate market is one of the fastest growing in the country, and it’s easy to see why. Tampa offers what cities like Boston never could: warmth and sunshine all year round. Like Austin, if you could afford a single-family home in a low-tax state with warm weather in an up-and-coming metropolitan area with a great football team to boot, what would you choose? Would you stay in Boston or New York when your office isn’t open, and you’re trapped in your studio apartment with roaches and mold?

In the end, it all boils down to the concept of options. With remote work people have choices in where they live. Many are no longer tied to an office and have yet to return, if ever, to one. Hence this great migration to Tampa and Austin.

Edited by Joseph Barbieri