“Everything is bigger in Texas.” And, right now, the real estate market in the Lonestar State is no exception. Just how big is this industry? According to the Texas Real Estate Center atTexas A&M University, real estate is the second largest industry in the state (behind manufacturing), and it accounts for 8.4% of the state’s gross domestic product. In fact, Texas real estate wealth is valued at $1.6 trillion! That’s $65,432 worth of real estate for each Texan! Of the state’s real estate wealth, 56.3% is in single-family housing — which came out to a whopping $945.1 billion in 2011.
What makes Texas even more unique is that there are a variety of home types and price ranges available throughout the state. Take McKinney, a suburb of Dallas, as an example. The town was established in 1848, and it has evolved to meet the community’s housing needs over the years. There are plenty of starter homes and old Victorian styles available, but the city also offers five-bedroom “Texas-style” properties as well. It’s a place where those wanting to escape from city lifecan live, complete with a local farmer’s market, art galleries, and hip boutiques. But, it’s also a manageable commute to Dallas, so business professionals who want to work in the big city, but don’t want to live in one, can also call McKinney home. This is just one example of why Texas is a real estate goldmine, and there are plenty of people wanting to cash in on the industry. In fact, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M estimates that over 521,000 Texans worked in the real estate market in 2011. But individuals aren’t the only ones profiting from the industry. The state and local governments also survive in part because of real estate sales. As an industry, real estate accounts for 14.8% of Texas’ total business taxes, and Texas’ property tax revenues account for almost half of state tax revenues. With so much to offer, Americans outside of the Lonestar State are taking notice of the real estate market in Texas. All it takes is a quick Google search of “Top 10 Places to Move” or “Top 10 Places to Live”, and you’ll see places like Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and even smaller places like McKinney and Allen on them. So why is the state so attractive to outsiders who are looking to relocate? One possible answer is the obvious one — nostate income tax! Because Texans don’t pay state income tax, residents can spend more money on other things, like, for example, larger homes or renovations to their current one. Also, with no state income tax, more companies are encouraged to move to the area, especially white-collar type jobs in the technology and energy fields. And, of course, whenever companies move, they bring employees with them. That increases the demand for home purchases, and in turn, improves the local housing market! Also, more jobs means less unemployment. More people making a liveable wage increases the demand for homes, and that increases listing prices.