Surprising to no one who has leased an apartment recently, Houston is a hot rental market. Now, a new study backs that up — revealing that the Bayou City is among the biggest relocation spots for renters in the country.
A new study released by self-storage platform StorageCafé finds that Houston ranks fifth among the country’s top attractors of all renters in 2020. Almost 70 percent of Houston renters came from other places in Texas, with Katy topping the list (8.8 percent), followed by Spring (6.1 percent), and Humble (3.2 percent).
Houston attracts urban dwellers and former suburban residents in almost equal proportions: 54 percent compared to 46 percent, the study notes. The originating cities for renters relocating to Houston are the nearby Katy, Spring, and Sugar Land, but also Austin and San Antonio.
A big factor: Unemployment here dropped by almost half between April 2020 and the end of last year, from over 14 percent in April 2020 to under 8 percent in December. That signaled a recovery of the local economy that’s bound to keep attracting out-of-towners, per the study. Renters here are also drawn to spacious apartments, with Houston taking the 11th spot nationally for average apartment size – roughly 880 square feet.
Elsewhere in Texas, Austin reigns as the biggest magnet in Texas for renters who’ve moved here from another state. About 40 percent of renters who relocated to Austin last year came from a different state, the study shows. That compares with 33 percent for San Antonio, 30 percent for Houston, 24 percent for Fort Worth, 21 percent for Dallas, and 15 percent for Arlington.
Two notches down from Houston, at No. 7, is Dallas, where Garland accounted for the most incoming renters last year (6.4 percent). Austin lands at No. 11, with Round Rock sending the most renters (6.1 percent). San Antonio sits in the No. 12 spot; the city of Converse led the way for Alamo City’s incoming renters (3.8 percent).
Houston also boasts the highest number of green community rental listings of any city in the entire nation, according to a different study from ApartmentGuide.