Texas Leads Nation in Relo Activity

HOUSTON – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – The sunny states of Texas and Florida are hot spots for relocation.

The big losers in the domestic migration trends are California and New York, according a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The national population expanded by 1.15 million from mid-2019 to mid-2020, according to population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Just two states — Texas and Florida — added a combined 600,000 people, accounting for more than half of the nation’s population growth over the year.”

The Census Bureau said Texas added 373,965 people in that period, followed by Florida with 241,256.

“Texas and Florida and a few other states have really been the big gainers in terms of net population growth,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist at real estate data firm CoreLogic.

Why is the Lone Star State growing so quickly? Bankrate.com says: “Texas, the nation’s second-largest state, boasts comparatively low home prices and a relatively light tax burden. Houston, Dallas and Austin already were corporate hubs, and they’ve gained appeal.”

The Losers List

The Census Bureau said 27 states and the District of Columbia lost population through net domestic migration between 2018 and 2019. “The top states with net domestic migration loss were California (-203,414), New York (-180,649) and Illinois (-104,986),” the federal report said.

Then, about a year ago, Covid hit hard.

“The coronavirus pandemic spurred a wave of migration,” Bankrate.com said. “Americans are moving out of the Northeast, the Midwest and California and into affordable Sun Belt states.”

The highly contagious disease transformed subways, elevators, and crowded places into nightmare venues.

The Appeal of Suburbia

“Americans clearly are moving out of denser urban areas and into less-dense suburban areas,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders. “We saw housing demand moving to lower-density areas because people need the space for home offices,” he said.

As many office workers transitioned into what may become permanent work-from-home arrangements, housing economists say the migration trends are likely to intensify. White-collar workers can afford more space by moving out of big cities and into wide-open suburbia.

“Texas’ strong job growth makes it appealing to younger workers,” says CoreLogic’s Nothaft. “In recent months two Silicon Valley stalwarts announced plans to move their headquarters to Texas. Hewlett Packard Enterprises is going to Houston while Oracle will relocate to Austin.”

Elon Musk: ‘Austin is Biggest Boomtown in 50 Years’

And who can overrlook Elon Musk’s decision to build a $1 billion Tesla electric pickup truck manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Austin, pinpointing the capital city as a prime target for national movement. In a podcast interview, Musk called Austin “the biggest boomtown the U.S. has seen in 50 years.”

Teresa Scott-Tibbs, a Realtor in Austin, said that “right now, it is crazy, crazy busy. People are moving from all over, especially California – and especially since Tesla announced it was coming.”

Tesla boss Musk says he is not only forsaking the Golden State for his manufacturing but is also moving his home from Los Angeles to the open air and sunshine of Austin.

Scott-Tibbs also cited the “low tax rate and lower housing costs” in Austin, which is even luring “a lot of small businesses” as well as billion-buck ventures. Travis County, which includes most of Austin, has eight active incentive agreements” in the works that could also bring Samsung and Apple “to move here and expand.”

Just what was Texas like before coronavirus forced locals to strap masks on their respective faces — a mandate recently lifted by Gov. Greg Abbott?

“Once again, Texas welcomed more than half a million new residents from other states,” said Marvin Jolly, 2021 chairman of Texas Realtors, citing population figures compiled in 2019.

Census estimates say: “Texas welcomed 537,000 to 582,000 new residents in 2019,” he said. “This [was] the seventh year in a row that Texas attracted more than 500,000 new residents from out of state.”

“Some moved here for a lower cost of living, a great quality of life, diverse job opportunities, good weather—there are many reasons people continue coming to Texas.”

From 2014 to 2018, the top counties for people moving to Texas from out-of-state included Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar and Travis. On the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) level, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA recorded the highest number of incoming residents from out-of-state during the same time frame.

Just an example. A published report says Megatel Homes, a Dallas homebuilder, reported more than 200 sales in January 2021. Officials at the firm said, “Moves from out-of-state contributed to the company’s record start.”

Texas: ‘Welcome to Californians’

Jolly noted that “the highest number of new Texans from other U.S. states relocated from California and Florida, respectively. Other top states included Louisiana, Illinois, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Georgia and Arizona.”

Ed Curtis, founder and CEO of YTexas (or “WhyTexas?”), a network that helps businesses move to the Lone Star State, said business relocations started years back. “COVID helped a lot of companies to pivot” to the biggest of the Lower 48.

Curtis himself said he moved from New York to Texas after realizing “how helpful Texans are in helping you navigate through a career. Doing business by handshake does exist.”

He said folks don’t move to Texas to fight political battles “like in D.C. or California. They want to get away from where taxes are onerous. At the end of the day, the people just want to have a good life.”

For lots of years, Texas has extended open arms to folks looking to pull up stakes and find a prosperous, job-laden, welcoming, neighborhood-friendly place to set down new roots.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic last year ignited a serious exodus by Americans seeking bigger, work-at-home-capable residences, safer school systems with students and teachers in the same classrooms and dining spots with meals served indoors, Texas was a likely spot for folks to relocate from the chilly Northeast, the expansive Midwestern plains and from California.

A few months into 2020 when COVID-19 forced Americans to don masks, stay indoors, abandon malls, theaters, so-called “non-essential” stores and even places of worship, Americans frightened by disease fears and prospects of a long and tiring hibernation decided to seek new climes.

To many, Texas seemed a darn good location.

March 9, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021

Caption: Texas State Capitol in Austin on Congress Avenue. Photo credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report Copyright  2021.

File: Texas Leads Nation in Relo Activity. Population. Migration.

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