Most Expensive Places To Live In Texas For 2020

We used science and data to determine which cities in Texas that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Texas.

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The Lone Star State is a massive place that can accommodate all walks of life. But we've done the research to discover which cities are the most expensive to live in Texas for 2020.

Just where are these deep pockets of extreme wealth in Texas? By and large, the places you'll see on this list are in the southern region of the state, with many cities no farther than an hour outside of Houston or San Antonio. If you put a premium on live music, then you won't mind paying extra to live in Austin, the city with the most live music venues per capita in the country. If you're looking for the priciest suburb of Dallas, Addison is the spot for you. Need a beach nearby to fully enjoy your ritzy lifestyle? We recommend Galveston.

So how'd we come up with this list of pricey places? Generally speaking, places with the highest priced homes also have a higher cost of living. But the story doesn't end there. We also looked at how much money residents of each place earn to determine how their salaries stack up against the price of a home and rent. We found that you need to earn at least $26,313/year if you want to live in the upper eschelon of Texan society.

So grab a gold-plated dish of Texas BBQ and get ready to swap investment tips with Walmart's Alice Walton, because we're heading to the most expensive places in Texas.

What's the most expensive place to live in Texas? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that College Station is the most expensive place to live in Texas.

So hopefully Pecos (the cheapest place to live in Texas) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Texas and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Texas For 2020

College Station, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 110,782
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.3x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.2x (19th most expensive)
More on College Station: Real Estate | Data | Photos

College Station is a city in Brazos County, Texas, situated in East-Central Texas in the heart of the Brazos Valley, in the center of the region known as Texas Triangle. It is 90 miles northwest of Houston and 87 miles northeast of Austin. As of the 2010 census, College Station had a population of 93,857, which had increased to an estimated population of 117,191 as of September 2017. College Station and Bryan together make up the Bryan-College Station metropolitan area, the 14th-largest metropolitan area in Texas with 255,589 people as of 2015.

The median income in College Station comes in at $42,964 and the median home value is $226,400 for 2020.

Prairie View, TX

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Population: 6,337
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.4x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 25.5x (1st most expensive)
More on Prairie View: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Prairie View comes in at $26,313 and the median home value is $167,100 for 2020.

Huntsville, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 41,079
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.1x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 36.7x (4th most expensive)
More on Huntsville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Huntsville is a city in and the county seat of Walker County, Texas, United States. The population is 38,548 as of the 2010 census. It is the center of the Huntsville micropolitan area.

The median income in Huntsville comes in at $32,137 and the median home value is $162,500 for 2020.

San Marcos, TX

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Population: 61,751
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 37.6x (6th most expensive)
More on San Marcos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

San Marcos is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, within the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metropolitan area. It is on the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio and is the seat of Hays County. Its limits extend into Caldwell and Guadalupe Counties, as well. Its population was 44,894 in 2010. In 2015 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population at 60,684

The median income in San Marcos comes in at $37,593 and the median home value is $163,500 for 2020.

Fredericksburg, TX

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Population: 11,157
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.5x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.9x (93rd most expensive)
More on Fredericksburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fredericksburg is the seat of Gillespie County, in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 10,530.

The median income in Fredericksburg comes in at $49,888 and the median home value is $273,500 for 2020.

Granbury, TX

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Population: 9,593
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (23rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.0x (27th most expensive)
More on Granbury: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Granbury is a city and the county seat of Hood County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,978 and is the principal city of the Granbury Micropolitan Statistical Area. Granbury is located 35 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Texas.

The median income in Granbury comes in at $45,380 and the median home value is $171,700 for 2020.

Austin, TX

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Population: 935,755
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.1x (125th most expensive)
More on Austin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Austin, AWST-tin) is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous city in Texas. It is the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital after Phoenix, Arizona, and the southern-most state capital in the contiguous 48 states. As of the Census Bureau's July 1, 2016 estimate, Austin has a population of 947,890. Located in Central Texas in the foothills of Texas Hill Country, the city is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways including Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, the Colorado River, Lake Travis, and Lake Walter E. Long. It is the cultural and economic center of the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,056,405 as of July 1, 2016.

The median income in Austin comes in at $67,462 and the median home value is $312,300 for 2020.

Galveston, TX

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Population: 50,039
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (22nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.0x (38th most expensive)
More on Galveston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Galveston is a coastal resort city on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the U.S. state of Texas. The community of 209.3 square miles, with an estimated population of 50,180 in 2015, is the county seat and second-largest municipality of Galveston County. It is within Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area.

The median income in Galveston comes in at $44,902 and the median home value is $170,100 for 2020.

Boerne, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,799
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 9)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (19th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.6x (118th most expensive)
More on Boerne: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Boerne is a city in and the county seat of Kendall County, Texas, United States, within the Texas Hill Country. Boerne was named in honor of a Jewish-German author and publicist. The population of Boerne was 10,471 at the 2010 census. The city is noted for the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case City of Boerne v. Flores. Founded in 1849 as Tusculum, the name was changed to Boerne when the town was platted in 1852.

The median income in Boerne comes in at $63,420 and the median home value is $259,600 for 2020.

Addison, TX

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Population: 15,626
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 12)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.4x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.7x (152nd most expensive)
More on Addison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Addison is an incorporated town in Dallas County, Texas, in the United States. Addison is situated to the immediate north of the city of Dallas. The town's population was 13,056 at the 2010 census. Addison and Flower Mound were the only two Texas towns with a population greater than 10,000 in the 2010 census; since then the towns of Prosper and Trophy Club have also exceeded 10,000 in population estimates. Addison is best-known within the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex region for its abundance of restaurants and nightlife.

The median income in Addison comes in at $73,383 and the median home value is $325,100 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Lone Star State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Texas
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Texas to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 348 places in Texas that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Texas according to the data is College Station. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Texas For 2020

Well there you have it, the places in Texas that have the highest cost of living, with College Station ranking as the most expensive city in the Lone Star State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Texas according to the data:

  1. Pecos
  2. Breckenridge
  3. Vernon

For more Texas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Texas

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 College Station 27.33 110,782 5.3x 44.2x
2 Prairie View 36.17 6,337 6.4x 25.5x
3 Huntsville 42.0 41,079 5.1x 36.7x
4 San Marcos 43.5 61,751 4.3x 37.6x
5 Fredericksburg 45.33 11,157 5.5x 52.9x
6 Granbury 49.67 9,593 3.8x 47.0x
7 Austin 53.33 935,755 4.6x 55.1x
8 Galveston 54.0 50,039 3.8x 48.0x
9 Boerne 59.33 14,799 4.1x 54.6x
10 Addison 62.0 15,626 4.4x 56.7x
11 Richmond 64.33 12,084 4.1x 48.1x
12 Port Isabel 64.67 5,057 4.4x 42.2x
13 Webster 65.83 11,165 3.1x 46.5x
14 Dallas 66.67 1,318,806 3.4x 50.8x
15 Nacogdoches 69.33 33,610 3.8x 46.2x
16 Denton 70.33 133,661 3.5x 54.0x
17 Marble Falls 71.67 6,382 4.3x 54.6x
18 Princeton 72.67 9,765 2.8x 49.9x
19 Houston 75.0 2,295,982 3.2x 51.7x
20 Rockport 75.67 10,957 3.2x 53.3x
21 Jersey Village 76.67 7,945 4.2x 58.3x
22 Stafford 77.67 18,110 2.8x 50.3x
23 Lewisville 80.67 104,789 3.0x 54.1x
24 Tomball 81.0 11,644 4.2x 59.1x
25 Brenham 86.0 16,778 3.6x 53.8x
26 Hutto 87.67 23,980 2.5x 49.0x
27 Manor 87.67 8,595 2.5x 43.6x
28 Kerrville 88.67 23,216 3.7x 56.1x
29 Humble 89.67 15,861 3.0x 44.4x
30 Waco 90.0 133,964 3.1x 45.6x
31 Rosenberg 91.0 36,509 2.8x 49.3x
32 Bryan 91.33 83,199 3.0x 50.1x
33 Conroe 92.0 80,893 3.1x 56.2x
34 Bee Cave 93.67 6,521 5.9x 67.2x
35 Gilmer 94.67 5,122 3.2x 47.9x
36 Hempstead 95.0 7,397 3.1x 39.3x
37 Georgetown 96.67 66,804 3.6x 61.6x
38 Fair Oaks Ranch 100.33 10,857 3.4x 65.2x
39 Richardson 100.67 114,402 3.1x 60.6x
40 Tyler 101.33 103,721 3.2x 55.5x
41 Melissa 103.0 8,492 2.5x 55.1x
42 New Braunfels 103.67 74,587 3.0x 58.9x
43 Kyle 105.5 39,857 2.4x 51.4x
44 Highland Park 107.33 9,145 7.0x 77.1x
45 Euless 108.0 55,047 2.8x 56.8x
46 Fairview 108.0 8,665 4.1x 70.5x
47 Grapevine 111.0 52,486 3.4x 67.1x
48 Farmers Branch 112.33 35,552 2.5x 53.4x
49 Anthony 112.67 5,578 2.8x 47.3x
50 Elgin 113.0 9,616 2.9x 53.9x
51 Plano 115.33 284,579 3.2x 69.3x
52 Laredo 115.33 257,575 2.8x 52.5x
53 Lubbock 115.5 250,415 2.7x 52.5x
54 Lakeway 116.0 14,677 3.5x 73.8x
55 San Antonio 116.83 1,486,521 2.7x 53.2x
56 University Park 117.67 24,954 5.7x 107.8x
57 Alamo Heights 118.0 8,193 4.4x 90.3x
58 Buda 118.33 14,503 2.9x 63.4x
59 Roanoke 119.0 7,899 3.5x 72.3x
60 Granite Shoals 119.33 5,057 2.5x 46.3x
61 Bedford 119.67 49,306 3.0x 62.5x
62 Texarkana 120.0 37,277 3.1x 55.9x
63 West University Place 121.33 15,619 4.2x 105.4x
64 Mckinney 121.67 173,460 3.1x 70.7x
65 Irving 121.67 238,637 2.7x 57.0x
66 Bellaire 123.33 18,733 4.2x 114.6x
67 Selma 125.0 9,895 2.3x 52.9x
68 Crockett 125.33 6,534 3.1x 34.5x
69 Duncanville 125.33 39,630 2.5x 50.4x
70 Carrollton 126.0 133,438 2.9x 64.5x
71 Round Rock 126.0 120,157 2.9x 65.1x
72 Murphy 126.33 20,528 2.5x 62.6x
73 Taylor 126.67 16,811 2.9x 58.2x
74 North Richland Hills 126.67 69,800 2.7x 61.0x
75 Lago Vista 127.33 6,730 3.1x 70.3x
76 Lucas 127.33 7,217 3.3x 93.7x
77 Commerce 127.67 9,000 2.9x 30.8x
78 Providence Village 129.0 7,053 2.2x 53.4x
79 Heath 129.67 8,410 2.9x 75.8x
80 Hurst 129.67 38,986 2.7x 59.3x
81 Roma 131.0 11,363 3.2x 47.8x
82 Stephenville 131.0 20,396 2.8x 55.7x
83 Leander 131.33 46,419 2.6x 61.8x
84 Portland 131.67 16,865 2.4x 54.7x
85 Arlington 133.0 392,462 2.7x 58.7x
86 Prosper 133.33 19,103 3.1x 95.0x
87 Garland 135.0 237,982 2.5x 54.7x
88 Longview 135.17 82,256 2.9x 58.5x
89 Little Elm 135.33 42,889 2.5x 59.6x
90 Bridgeport 135.67 6,406 2.5x 52.1x
91 Socorro 136.0 33,923 2.7x 49.6x
92 Decatur 136.17 6,608 2.4x 53.2x
93 Coppell 137.0 41,512 3.0x 91.8x
94 Frisco 139.0 165,700 2.9x 88.2x
95 Texas City 139.0 47,902 2.4x 49.0x
96 Fate 139.0 11,705 2.2x 56.3x
97 El Paso 139.17 680,354 2.7x 56.1x
98 Fort Worth 139.33 855,786 2.6x 58.4x
99 Cibolo 139.67 27,963 2.3x 57.2x
100 Wharton 139.67 8,718 2.6x 49.0x

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.