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Austin: The Gem Of Central Texas

Feb 21, 2008
The Austin Metro Area is part of the I-35 growth corridor in Central Texas. The Austin area experienced the largest increase in household income in the State of Texas and was one of the fastest growing US cities in the 1990's, growing in population by nearly 48 percent. In 2007, the city was the 3rd fastest growing metro area (population over 500,000) behind Fort Worth, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona.

The Austin Metro area includes the cities and towns of Austin, Bastrop, Buda, Cedar Park, Dripping Springs, Georgetown, Kyle, Lakeway, Lago Vista, Leander, Lockhart, Pflugerville, Round Rock, San Marcos, and Taylor. There are five counties that make up the area including Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson. Austin is located within Travis County and Round Rock is located in Williamson County.

Austin, the capital of Texas, is home the University of Texas, the 5th largest campus in the nation. Major industries in the area include technology, education, retail, healthcare, and state government. People are drawn to Austin not only for business, but for its scenic beauty. If you have never been to Texas, you may have pictures in your head of flat, barren land and tumbleweeds rolling across the plains. While this may be true for areas of North and West Texas, Austin is made up of lakes, rivers, limestone cliffs, greenbelts, and Texas Hill Country. The city supports a liberal political environment in the midst of a very red state. With thirty-seven percent of Austin adults between the ages of 18-34 (median age of 32), Austin is a very young city full of energy. You can see this first hand by taking an evening stroll through the warehouse and entertainment district of West 4th and 6th Streets in Downtown Austin. Here is where you will find the true meaning of why Austin is the "Live Music Capital of the World." The nightlife in this town competes with towns twice its size. The density of bars and clubs on 6th Street is only matched by famous Bourbon Street in New Orleans (but without the constant fowl smell). Oh yeah, and the people are much friendlier!

For the outdoorsmen/woman, Austin offers some of the best hiking and biking trails in the nation. Along Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, there are over 14 miles of natural trails and hundreds of acres of greenbelts, very rare for a large urban city. Wakeboarding is also a popular sport among the boating enthusiasts in the area (and there are many). Lake Travis in Northwest Travis County in over 63 miles in length and over 2 miles wide at its widest point. On the weekends at the lakes, you will find boats tied along side each other and hundreds of go-lucky partiers enjoying the breathtaking views.

Despite a national downturn in real estate prices, the Austin housing market is thriving on the migration of people and businesses into the area. According to the US Census Bureau, the Austin Metro Area population to 1,513,565, a 4.2% increase for 2006. The average price for a single-family home in Austin increased 6% in 2007 to $251,641. Austin area home sales and prices experienced steady and stable growth over the past few years, contributing to the overall economic health in Central Texas.

Regardless of whether the economy goes up or down, Austin will always be a desirable place to live and people will continue to flock to the region. In the many annual surveys conducted by various media outlets, here are some of the categories Austin always ranks high: after-dark, characteristics, cityscape, culture, food/dining, people, shopping, Singles scene, live music, clubbing, cocktails, housing affordability, environmental awareness, safety, best barbeque, cheap eats, most fit city, athletic/active, attractive, friendly people, vintage shopping, wild weekend, underground arts scene, cleanliness, and public parks/spaces, am I boring you? The list goes on and on. Surprisingly, Austin lives up to the hype! Google "Austin, Texas" and you'll be hard-pressed to find negative comments about this awesome town!
About the Author
Ronnie Bredahl an Austin Realtor and owner of Austin Referral Realty, Inc. in Southwest Austin, Texas.
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