Happy new year everyone. Hope you enjoyed the holidays and the recent amazing weather (while staying safe). A lot of you probably had out-of-town family and/or friends visiting. Next time nonlocal friends or family say Houston is too hot, floods too often, or gets too many hurricanes, here’s my recommended reaction: politely agree with them that Houston is not a city for the soft or irresilient – they should probably choose somewhere like California. Texas welcomes the tough.
The big item this week is Bloomberg Businessweek’s “The Case for Moving to Houston” graphic from a recent cover story on high-tech workers leaving the big expensive coastal cities. Click to enlarge, but note Houston in the upper-left pole position of the best bang for your buck, a combination of high average salaries and low cost of living, reinforcing my ongoing argument that Houston has the highest standard of living among major metros in the US and probably the world as well.
The article also has a couple of nice excerpts:
“Consider Phyllis Njoroge, who grew up in Massachusetts. After graduating from Tufts University in 2019 with a degree in cognitive and brain science, she started making spreadsheets of places in the U.S. that had a warm climate, were diverse, and had a reasonable cost of living. Houston won out, and she moved there in March”
Having more remote workers means “wages in Texas are going up,” he says. So are housing prices. “You can’t have a $2 million, 2,000-square-foot house in San Francisco and a $200,000 house in Dallas that are basically the same for very long when there are airplanes and internet connections and Zoom.”
Moving on to some smaller items this week:
- New Geography: Texas is the fastest growing state + California loses 70,000 residents in the last year
- Houston the 2nd-youngest city in the U.S. behind Salt Lake City (The Mormons have us beat when it comes to cranking out kids, lol 😉
- Houston Chronicle: When COVID trapped me in Houston, I stopped wanting to escape (non paywall link). Hat tip George.
- And a similar one: “You’re from Houston? I’m so sorry.” Also hat tip to George.
“I simply say, “no, please don’t be sorry. I love living in Houston. It’s a great place to live and I have a great life there. It’s actually not that place that you might imagine it to be. In fact, it’s one of the country’s most ethnically diverse and progressive cities. My children go to school with kids from all over the world. And the wine and food scene there is great, too.”
Finally, I’d like to end with a great year-end review 1m video our President Charles Blain put together on the Urban Reform Institute – Center for Opportunity Urbanism’s work, events, and publications in 2020. Here’s to 2021 being even better for our growth and impact!
This piece first appeared at Houston Strategies Blog
Tory Gattis is a Founding Senior Fellow with the Houston-based Urban Reform Institute – A Center for Opportunity Urbanism, and writes the Houston Strategies blog.