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Dallas vs. Austin - Which City Should You Pick?

Alcove Team · 8/12/22

Dallas vs. Austin - Which City Should You Pick?

Dallas and Austin share the same lively streets, good eats, and music-worthy attractions, but both have their own different attributes to living. There's a lot to consider when deciding on where to reside, varying from overall costs to the quality of living. 

In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between Dallas and Austin, TX, and how to configure which place is best for you considering:

  • Housing Market

  • Cost of Living

  • Quality of Life

Let’s get started.

Dallas vs. Austin: Housing Market

First, let's discuss just how expensive it is to live in each Texas city. According to the Texas Real Estate Research Center, the cost of houses in the Dallas area has risen by 21.6% in the month of June compared to the annual price. Equating to a median price of $430,000 for buying a residence. 

Contrastingly, Austin’s price growth as of June 2022 is smaller at 13.03% but has a much higher median price of $537,475. Listed below are the median buying rates (June 2022) according to the type of residence. 

  • Single Family Home

    • Dallas - $435,000

    • Austin - $550,000

  • Condominium

    • Dallas - $275,000

    • Austin - $446,360

  • Townhome

    • Dallas - $404,065

    • Austin - $425,000

Dallas vs. Austin: Cost of Living

Now that we have covered the cost of buying housing in Dallas vs. Austin, it’s important to consider the cost of actually living in the cities apart from housing. Factors that affect the cost of living are categories like groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare. To make this easier, we will look at the cities’ rankings on the cost of living index.

This index includes the important categories of living in a calculated score that will then be compared to the national average index of 100. It is also important to note that because the average index includes every area of the nation as a whole, most major cities will rank slightly higher than that average. 

Below is how Dallas vs. Austin compares by their Cost of Living Index:

The overall Cost of Living index for the state of Texas hovers around 93. Therefore, both cost indexes for Dallas and Austin are significantly higher than the State Cost index and the National average. However, with Austin being almost twenty points higher on the index compared to Dallas, these wide margins showcase the drastic variance in expenses.

Dallas vs. Austin: Job Market

When it comes to job markets, Dallas and Austin are both winners. Supported by both music and sports industries, manufacturing, corporate HQs, and media, it is no surprise why the areas have been experiencing big population booms. Some of the biggest employers in Dallas are Wal-Mart stores, AT&T, Toyota, and many oil and gas companies. Whereas, some of the biggest companies in Austin are Apple, Google, Meta, and IBM. 

Overall, Dallas has multiple different key employers fueling their job market, whereas the big players within Austin’s job market are big tech. This contributes to the bigger average earnings in Austin but combined with the higher cost of living, can make an increase in salary feel not as present. 

In terms of average annual salaries, this is how Dallas vs. Austin stands according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2021 Report:

  • Dallas - $58,020

  • Austin - $60,260

  • Texas Average - $54,230

It is also important to consider minimum wage when discussing job markets because not everyone is a salaried employee. In 2022, the minimum wage in Texas is $7.25–the same as the federal minimum wage since 2009. 

At the end of the day, choosing which Texas city to live in will depend on your own personal preferences. Whether it be the cost of living, the cost of housing, or your career goals, you’ll have to consider what factors matter the most in your decision between the two.