the u-haul expressway

New Houston renters are swarming in from this Texas city most, new report says

New Houston renters swarming in from this Texas city most, says report

Moving day house boxes couple roommate
Newstonians are pouring in from Dallas, says this new report. Courtesy photo

There’s a very logical reason why you might be spotting more moving trucks on I-45 these days.

In a new report from Apartment List, Houston ranks as the most popular destination for Dallas renters looking to move somewhere else. Apartment List says 6.5 percent of Dallas renters hunting for an apartment outside the metro area are searching in Houston, followed by Tulsa (4.9 percent) and Oklahoma City (4.6 percent).

In other words, I-45, the main artery between Houston and Dallas, very well could earn the nickname “the U-Haul Expressway.”

Here in Houston, the top sources for outside-the-area renters are Dallas, 13.8 percent; Austin, 4.6 percent; and Atlanta, 4.1 percent. As for Houston renters eyeing other metro areas, the top three destinations are Dallas, 12.7 percent; Austin, 12.3 percent; and San Antonio, 11.1 percent.

The report shows 24.5 percent of renters looking for a place to live in Houston are searching from outside the metro area, and 31.3 percent of Houston renters are pondering a move to a different metro area.

Meanwhile, among outside-the-metro renters searching for an apartment in Dallas, 13.3 percent are from Houston, making it Big D’s No. 1 source of potential new arrivals. That’s followed by Austin (4.6 percent) and San Antonio (3.1 percent).

In all, 34.7 percent of apartment hunters living in the Dallas area are looking to move away from the metro area, and 24.5 percent of those seeking somewhere to live in Dallas are searching from outside the metro area.

The report is based on Apartment List searches that occurred between July 1 and September 30.

Apartment List says debates around the country over rent control, zoning, eviction bans, and other matters affecting renters could result in even more renters moving around.

“All of these shifts have the potential to accelerate migration as renters reconsider how their current living arrangements align with their housing preferences, their work arrangements, and their financial standing,” Apartment List says.

Elsewhere in Texas
To the west of Houston, the Apartment List classifies Austin as a “revolving door” for renters based on high turnover. Among the 50 major metros featured, Austin ranks sixth for the share of searches from renters looking to move to a different metro (47 percent) and seventh for the share of searches from outside-the-metro renters seeking to head to Austin (45.2 percent). Two other tech hubs — San Jose, California, and Raleigh, North Carolina — also fall into the “revolving door” category.

Apartment List suggests Austin, San Jose, and Raleigh are experiencing the “revolving door” phenomenon because all three boast high shares of workers in remote-friendly jobs.

“We have seen this dynamic play out in local rent prices, where over the last 18 months these cities experienced dramatic rent declines followed by similarly dramatic rent rebounds as residents cycle in and out of the rental market,” Apartment List says.

According to the report, Austin’s top sources of outside-the-metro renters are Houston, 22 percent; Dallas, 12.6 percent; and San Antonio, 9.7 percent. The top destinations for renters looking to move out of the Austin metro area are San Antonio, 30 percent; Dallas, 7.5 percent; and Corpus Christi, 7.3 percent.

As for the San Antonio area, a whopping 44 percent of apartment searches are from outside the region. The top drivers of that traffic are Austin, 31.7 percent; Houston, 19.8 percent; and Dallas, 8 percent.

When it comes to the 29.8 percent of San Antonio renters plotting relocation to another metro area, the top destinations are Austin, 18.2 percent; Dallas, 10.1 percent; and Houston, 8.1 percent.

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