Austin chicken places better than Bojangles

Austin chicken places better than Bojangles

For Carson Stanch, who moved to Austin from Brooklyn, New York, to be closer to family, Austin’s lower cost of living was just an added bonus. According to the latest data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, a $100 bill is worth $98.20 in Austin compared to the national average in 2020, while in New York it is worth just $84.53.

Houston native Carson Stanch moved from Brooklyn, New York to Austin just before the pandemic. (Carson Stanch)

Stanch soon realized she was a trendsetter, or perhaps a fortune teller, as the pandemic hit a few months after her move. No longer willing to spend extra money on her most expensive apartments, Stanch said many of her friends and other New Yorkers have left town amid the COVID shutdowns.

“It’s so expensive to live there (and) for all the reasons you live in New York, you really can’t do more,” Stanch said.

Garrett Watson, a senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation who wrote a 2018 report on the value of $100 in US metro areas, told Austonia that the report weighs the costs of goods and services with income. of residents and compares them to the national average. The result is price parity, a number that varies dramatically across the country; for example, a $100 bill won’t get you as close in Austin as it would in the more rural Hill Country.

While a Ben Franklin bill was worth $4 more in New York in 2020 compared to 2018, a $100 bill was $1.60 less in value in Austin. Austin’s cost of living also saw the 12th-highest increase among US metropolitan areas from the 2010 to 2020 census.

And as the national housing boom from the pandemic gained momentum in Austin, reaching a median home price of $575,000 in June 2021, Watson said the value of $100 may have dropped further.

“There’s just been a chronic hunger to build homes on the coasts and in certain heart cities,” Watson said. “Especially this year, we’re seeing more and more discussion of that in Austin, and that’s a very, very big factor.”

Price parity influences other factors as well: In San Francisco, where the value of $100 stands at $82.63, residents are nearly 18% poorer than their higher incomes suggest. But with incomes higher than the US average, they may have more cash on hand when they move to a cheaper city like Austin.

Many outsiders have used that extra change to make home offers much higher than the asking price, Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather told Fox7 Austin.

“All of those immigrants bring with them high-paying jobs that are used to much more expensive housing and are willing to go to any lengths to win these houses and move to Austin,” Fairweather said.

But Austin is catching up with those traditional hotspots: The area was predicted to be the most expensive metro area outside of the Golden State by the end of 2021.

In just two years, Stanch said he has seen some signs.

“I feel like I look around certain areas of Austin (and) they feel more similar to downtown Brooklyn,” Stanch said. “Some companies I see tend to cater to people who have a little more income.”

So why not move to, say, Florence, Alabama, where money is almost 20% more valuable?

Watson said the difference comes down to the value of amenities, something the study can’t track.

“Part of the value in New York City is all the conveniences that you have close by, the value of Broadway, the value of being able to have food delivered to your door,” Watson said. “So that may be reflected in people’s willingness to pay higher prices…there are a lot of really good reasons why people might want to be in Austin from an identity perspective that you can’t get elsewhere in Texas.” “.

In Austin, tech salaries rose 5% between 2020 and 2021 as big-name corporations like Oracle and Tesla, along with billionaire Tesla owner Elon Musk, flocked to the nation’s new “boom town.” . With an ever-growing job market, an eclectic culture, and a reputation as one of the best cities in the world to move to, Austin’s appeal might still outweigh its price.

But for Stanch and many others, there may yet come a time when price wins out over location.

“If it got to the point where buying a house was more important than being around friends and family, then I would move to get the house,” Stanch said. “I think that’s part of my plan.”


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