With moving season officially underway, Texas yet again has reason to brag as three cities scored in the top five destinations, nationally.
U-HAUL’s annual ranking of one-way destination cities for the year 2015 offers both consistency and surprise. Texas cities regularly score well, yet Houston’s seventh consecutive ranking in the number one spot offers renewed comfort amid an oil slump that is still felt in the Bayou City. Chicago, Austin, Orlando and San Antonio rounded out the top five, respectively. Dallas lagged behind in 18th place.
U-HAUL’s ranking system is based on 1.7 million one-way transactions for the 2015 calendar year, according to a press release. An estimated 45 percent of all permanent moves with corresponding changes of address occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.
General population trends generated by the U.S. Census Bureau largely correlates with U-HAUL’s data as Houston is forecast to overtake Chicago in total population within 10 years, should growth rates continue. The Houston Business Journal notes that Houston was second to New York in annual growth from July 2014 to July 2015.
Houston has enjoyed a variety of drivers keeping the city attractive in times of cheap and expensive oil. The city’s complete lack of zoning codes keeps artificially-inflated costs usually seen in housing expenses down, leaving modest starter and even premium homes all relatively affordable, based on income. Further, Houston has managed to diversify beyond its 20th Century perception of being dependent on the oil and gas business. As corporate layoffs swept through the Energy Corridor, much of the workforce found comparable employment in the booming healthcare and petrochemical sectors, according to the Associated Press. Between March 2015 and March 2016, the Houston Metropolitan Statistical Area’s unemployment only rose from 4.3 to 4.9 percent.
Austin’s third place ranking should come as a surprise to no one as the city continues to be a magnet for millennials after college. Cost of living data provided by FIXr finds that single professionals earning roughly $48,000 per year will find that rents for 1,000 square foot spaces will yield 90 percent of the market to them. The San Francisco Chronicle noted in January that dozens of brand-name Silicon Valley companies have expanded or relocated altogether to the area to attain better workforce stability. Google, Oracle and Dropbox have each opened shops in the city in recent years.
Cheaper land, fewer development regulation costs and location within the Texas Hill Country has helped spur San Antonio’s record growth rates. The Express-News notes that the city ranked sixth in population growth for metro areas with one million residents or more. The City of San Antonio hopes to absorb 1.1 million new residents by 2040.
A full listing of how cities ranked under the U-HAUL survey can be found here.
Logan Churchwell is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. You can follow him on Twitter @LCChurchwell.