The population of Texas increased by nearly 433,000 individuals, from 27.42 million to 27.86, furthering a growth trend that overtook the entirety of the Southern U.S. “States in the South and West continued to lead in population growth,” explained Ben Bolender, chief of the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Branch. “In 2016, 37.9 percent of the nation’s population lived in the South.” Jeffrey S. Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Research Center, envisions the growth continuing indefinitely, saying to the New York Times that, “the movement to the South and West is a very long term trend.” Marcus Hiles, furthering what the two researchers have stated, adds that older residents of the North and Northeast, primarily baby boomers, are finding warmer places to retire.
Marcus Hiles explains that despite these statistics seemingly noting a trend of movement to urban areas, it is in fact the surrounding suburban towns that are experiencing massive increases, mostly due to expensive downtown housing prices. As an example, the Texas A&M University Real Estate Center reported that the average price paid for a home in Austin’s local market area is $386,700, and predicted the cost to continue rising across 2017. Extreme costs of living are not only encouraging Texans to live in the suburbs, they are causing them to opt for long-term renting. In many Texas cities, including Houston and Dallas, renting has already been shown to be more cost effective than buying a house. As developers build upmarket rental communities offering resort-like amenities and services, residents will continue to realize that rental complexes provide improved quality and enjoyment of life on top of greater financial freedom.