Bargains in residential real estate continue feeding the California-to-Texas migration.

The average home in Texas costs about 70 percent less than in the Golden State, equating to a $282,000 difference, a StorageCafe study found. People moving from San Jose to the Dallas area can save over $1 million on a home, as the median home price in Santa Clara County is 258 percent higher than in Dallas County. The home price difference between San Mateo and Travis counties is 243 percent, resulting in annual savings of up to nearly $1.3 million.

Housing affordability, robust job markets and no state-income tax started driving Californians to the Lone Star State toward the end of the 2010s. Migration exploded in 2021, when roughly 111,000 people ditched the Golden State to make Texas their new home, the study found.

From 2018 to 2020, the number of Californians who moved to Texas hovered around 85,000 per year. Perhaps the pandemic-fueled remote work movement led to the sharp increase in 2021, as it gave people a chance to reap the benefits of a friendlier housing market, while maintaining relatively high-paying jobs. 

Of the 100-plus companies that have moved their headquarters to Texas since 2020, 40 percent have come from California. That includes big tech companies like Tesla, Oracle and Hewlett-Packard

The bulk of move-ins happened in North Texas, as nearly 25,000 Californians relocated to Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties in 2021. However, the most populous route was Los Angeles County to Travis County, which comprises Austin and fast-growing suburbs like Round Rock and Pflugerville. About 3,500 people took that path, and Los Angeles County was the main supplier of new residents overall. 

About 46 percent of people who have moved from California to Texas are millennials. This group of movers has an average household income of $114,300 annually, compared to the national average of $94,300 for millennials. Gen X accounted for the second most move-ins at 21 percent, followed by baby boomers at 15 percent. 

For millennials and Gen Zers who aren’t ready to buy a home, the Lone Star State also offers significantly lower rents. Among 18 California-to-Texas routes, renters can save over $1,000 a month. The largest difference in median rent is between Los Angeles and El Paso counties, with the latter costing about $1,600 less per month. 

—Quinn Donoghue 

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