With additional people in the area, there is more demand for basic necessities, such as housing, food, transportation and public services. As demand increases, the price increases because of the resources needed to accommodate all new people. Edgar Sandoval, a Times reporter based in San Antonio, spoke to Texas Standard about why Austin has become so unaffordable and what city leaders hope to do about it. What could be done, if anything, to change things on the ground in real terms, if developers commit to building expensive homes and people commit to moving to Austin? More than half of the people who live and work in the Austin area live outside the city, and many people travel to Austin for work.
Locals often blame the rise of Austin's tech industry for driving home prices above other Texas markets. While other metropolitan areas in Texas are more conservative and therefore maintain a relatively impartial approach to regulation and property rights, the Austin government reminds you of California, where it was formerly a state legislator. The average price of gasoline is cheaper in Austin than in the entire United States and slightly less expensive than the average price in Texas. With the iconic University of Texas campus, gentle rolling hills and a vibrant music scene, Austin has long been an attractive place to call home.
Over the past 10 years, high-tech jobs, which tend to pay in six figures, increased by nearly 62 percent in the Austin metropolitan area, to a total of approximately 176,000 jobs, accounting for 17 percent of all jobs and far surpassed the growth of all other industries, according to the House of Austin Commerce. The city also has a low unemployment rate of 3.2%, which is higher than Texas overall (5.2%) and the United States overall (4.2%), suggesting that Austin is a good place to find work, especially if you work in a high-tech industry. North Central and Northwest Austin are among the most historic (and most expensive) neighborhoods to live in in Austin.