Dallas-Fort Worth was one of the top destinations for domestic migrants from California in 2017, according to a recent study.
There were 1,051 moves from coastal California, the home of some of the country's toughest housing markets, to Dallas in the first quarter of 2017, according to Alexandra Lee, a housing analyst with the real estate listing and research site Trulia, which did the study.
Out of 19,132 moves out of the region during that time period, 5.5 percent went to D-FW. The largest destination was the similarly affordable — in relative terms — Las Vegas, which took on 8.1 percent of those interstate migrants during the first three months of last year.
Houston is also a popular destination for people fleeing the California coast — 3 percent of the migrants in the study came to Texas' most populous city, meaning that 8.5 percent of those in the study came to either Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston.
The Trulia report looked at census data for transplants from four coastal California hubs: San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego. Homes in those markets listed for an average of $720,000 in March 2017, Trulia says, compared to $313,000 in Dallas and $250,000 nationally.
The home prices in these cities is clearly a major determinant in whether people leave California and to where they move, Lee said over email, but it's not the be-all and end-all.
According to the study, New York City took on the second-most domestic migrants from California in the first quarter of 2017 with 7.3 percent of those migrants. And while the median listing price of $440,000 in the Big Apple leaves more of a ceiling than in, for example, San Jose, where it's $750,000, it's still no small price.
Many from California and elsewhere in the U.S. are drawn to Texas' lower home prices, but the state also has a strong job market -- both in terms of local employers and relocations from other states -- that is attracting migrants.
Texas is a big destination for job-to-job flows, a U.S. Census Bureau-designed statistic that measures flows of employees from one company to another when they've been at each company longer than three quarters. The biggest source of these flows is California, which contributed 6,884 in the first quarter of 2016.
Texas has also been the destination for several high-profile corporate moves from the California coast, perhaps most notably Toyota, which began moving its North American headquarters from Torrance, Calif., to Plano last year. It brought with it the bulk of its 4,200-strong national staff.
With much cheaper, ample real estate — though the list price of both new housing starts and preowned homes is far exceeding what a median Dallasite can afford — and far lower taxes, it's no wonder.
And while Texas is growing at astronomic rates compared to California, the Golden State still represents greener pastures for some. In Q1 2016, there were 5,818 job-to-job flows from Texas to California. It should also be noted that the job flows to Texas represent a tiny share of employment activity in the massive state, according to state employment data.