Tech workers swarm Pittsburgh, Dallas for housing affordability

Dive Brief:

  • Tech sector workers — and, increasingly, their employers — are drawn to cities including Austin, TX, Dallas and Pittsburgh for their relatively affordable housing markets that let them take home over half of their monthly income after housing costs and taxes, according to a joint survey by Zillow and LinkedIn.

  • The study, which measured housing, tax and employment data for workers in the technology, finance and healthcare spaces, aimed to uncover the markets in which these typically high-paying sectors are seeing new growth, and why.

  • In many of the markets, owners reported higher disposable income after housing costs and taxes than did renters, which can be attributed in part to the typically-higher incomes of owners as well as to outsized rents in some markets.

Dive Insight:

Zillow's study highlights why property markets in recovering areas of the country have seen growth over the past year as companies relocate there and professional-sector workers follow for the lower cost of living. However, the trend is putting pressure on an already-dwindling supply of housing in those markets and is raising prices.

With property values moving further out of reach for young professionals in many large urban centers on the East and West coasts, a greater number of millennials are looking inland.

A report by NerdWallet in December named Austin, Denver, Nashville and Durham, NC, among the 10 most-affordable cities that also offer high-paying jobs. States in the West and Midwest are also leading the way for first-time buyers based on affordability, employment, inventory conditions and credit availability, according to Bankrate.

Seattle scored high on Zillow’s survey among tech workers primarily due to the prevalence of tech-sector employers there.

The rapid pickup in demand for homes in Seattle has sparked a flurry of construction activity, and building in the city’s downtown hit a record high in 2016. The city added 2,199 residential units in 2016 and is gearing up to add 5,975 this year, while its neighborhoods remain some of the most competitive for homebuying in the country.

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Filed Under: Residential Building Economy
Top image credit: Flickr; Ron Reiring