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Higher home prices in Austin, surrounding counties have people moving away

Austin mom Ashley Silva saw her salary double this past year. Even with a raise, she's not able to afford a home in Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas — Ashley Silva is a mom with dreams, an Austin resident and a surgical assistant.

When many were struggling financially during the pandemic, she found herself in a different position.

"Within the past year or two, I have been lucky my salary has doubled," said Silva.

But working in healthcare and making more than she was before, she's still not able to afford a home.

"We're talking about $400,000, $500,000 homes," added Silva. "It takes two incomes to be able to afford that."

High prices have her thinking about leaving Austin.

"I don't know how long it's going to last or if it's going to last for more than one year," she added. "So, might be looking for a place or having to move outside the city limits when my lease is up."

She's not the only one.

In 2019 Emina Bozek, who grew up in Austin, left for Williamson County. 

"I grew up in South Austin," said Bozek. "When it came time for me to look into housing, I quickly realized I wasn't able to afford anything in town. So I ended up moving out."

As people leave to avoid the city's high prices, they're seeing high demand in the surrounding areas, which means a hike in prices. 

The Austin Board of Realtors said Hays County's median home price went up by about $100,000 in the last year, making the median home price about $400,000.

It's a shockingly high number, but when compared to Travis County's $529,500 median home price, it seems like the better option.

"These dreams are getting farther and farther away," said Silva. "There are very few choices on what we can do in order to reach that dream."

Now, she has a decision to make when her lease is up. Will she stay or leave the city?

"I was visiting Maine, the state of Maine, not that long ago, and seeing that the size of the lots that at the cost that they were going for and I'm like, that would be millions of dollars in Austin," said Silvae. "It was the cost of what a house should cost out there. And it was refreshing to see, but it was tempting, you know, like, can I afford to live the way I want to live in another state? You know, and not have to deal with the rising costs of Austin and the rising amount of people."

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