More home for less money
As Texas' popularity grows, so does cost of living in the cities seeing population booms. And a new study shows just how much bang for your buck you can get in each major metro area.
A study released July 7 by the PropertyShark real estate website shows that $250,000 will get Fort Worth buyers a 2,109-square-foot house. And while that's not quite as much as you'd get in San Antonio (2,503 square feet) or Houston (2,318 square feet), it sure beats Austin, where buyers get a mere 1,139 square feet for the same price.
In nearby Dallas, buyers get only 1,722 square feet for $250K.
In the DFW Metroplex, Arlington buyers get the most square footage — 2,240 — for the same amount. In fact, Arlington's been on a roll lately. In a recent SmartAsset report on affordable housing markets, Arlington ranked sixth in the country and claimed the No. 1 spot in DFW.
PropertyShark’s data includes single-family homes, duplexes, condos, and townhouses.
While Austin’s position in the study is worse than every other big city in Texas, it’s considerably better than places like New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. In Manhattan, $250,000 would enable you to buy a home the size of a hotel room — 232 square feet. The situation isn’t much better in San Francisco, where $250,000 would get you a 269-square-foot home. In Los Angeles, that dollar amount would let you purchase a 524-square-foot home.
“In the country’s most populated cities with more than 900,000 residents, the difference in price per square foot between coastal cities and Texas cities is miles apart,” PropertyShark notes. “As expected, vast Texas leads the way in providing the most space for the lowest price. In fact, in every Texas city we analyzed, $250,000 will buy more than 1,000 square feet.”
Here’s how all the cities in Texas’ four largest metro areas — including DFW —compared when it comes to the amount of space you can score for $250,000:
- San Antonio, 2,503 square feet
- Houston, 2,318 square feet
- Arlington, 2,240 square feet
- Garland, 2,218 square feet
- Fort Worth, 2,109 square feet
- Irving, 2,072 square feet
- Dallas, 1,722 square feet
- Plano, 1,657 square feet
- Austin, 1,139 square feet
Looking at the country’s 100 largest cities, San Antonio ranks 15th nationwide for the amount of square footage available for $250,000. Detroit sits atop the list. There, you can buy a 5,407-square-foot home for $250,000, PropertyShark says.
All four major metro areas enjoyed robust home sales volume in 2019.
In Dallas-Fort Worth, single-family home sales totaled 103,261 last year, up 3 percent from 2018, the Texas Association of Realtors says.
“Dallas-Fort Worth winds up with record sales again,” James Gaines, chief economist at Texas A&M University’s Real Estate Center, said in January, in pre-pandemic times, of course. “The Dallas side of the Metroplex was actually a little better than Fort Worth.”