Dallas-Area Homeowners Really Aren’t Fleeing Big Cities for Small-Town Life, Study Finds

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Lisa and Oliver might have done it, but very few Dallas-area homeowners are leaving city life for “farm living.”

The premise of the 1960s sitcom, Green Acres, was a riches-to-rags tale of Manhattan lawyer Oliver Wendall Homes escaping city slicker life for farm livin’.

You’d think this would go over today — that a pandemic would cause urbanites to put big-city density behind them for land spreadin’ out so far and wide.

Not so much.

A new study by LendingTree Inc. reveals that few people are migrating to Hooterville or smaller towns. According to the study, only 1.56 percent of Dallas-area homeowners have left to buy homes in smaller towns.

It’s similar to a national trend. In 2019, an average of 1.91 percent of homeowners who lived in one of the nation’s 50 largest cities moved to a smaller town. In 2020, the share grew to 2.18 percent. LendingTree looked at the share of homeowners who lived in one of the nation’s largest cities and moved to a new home in one of the country’s towns.

In other Texas markets, the numbers were also small: 1.52 percent from Austin, 1.41 percent from San Antonio, and 1.05 percent from Houston.

Of those leaving Dallas, the most popular destination is no Hooterville. It’s Corsicana, as 11.95 percent of those moving out of Dallas presumably want to be closer to Collin Street Bakery fruitcakes.

According to the data, the majority of homeowners moved to a different home in the same city or moved to an entirely different city. An average of 84 percent of homeowners stayed in the same city when they moved compared to nearly 16 percent who left for another city.

Another study backed LendingTree’s findings. According to recent U.S. Census Bureau national data regarding pandemic-related moves, growth to rural non-metro areas have declined, hinting that while movers want more space, they also wanted common in-town amenities.

No doubt Drucker’s General Store just isn’t enough.

Tommy Cummings

Tommy Cummings covers the North Texas housing market for CandysDirt.com. Tommy moved to Texas from Oklahoma in 1992 and has lived in Mansfield with his wife, Brigitte, and son, Beaumont, since 2002 (after a two-year adventure in California as a tech columnist/editor at the San Francisco Chronicle). Tommy started his media career at newspapers in Oklahoma before becoming an editor in many capacities at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Dallas Morning News, where he wrapped up his newsroom career as a digital editor. His work has appeared in news outlets throughout the U.S.

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  1. mmJon Anderson says

    I hate to say I told you so…but… darling I love you, but give me Turtle Creek.

    Corsicana is also home to a Russel Stover outlet for cut-price Pecan Delights (a far likelier reason than fruit cakes). LOL

    • mmJoanna England says

      Apparently, Jon is not familiar with the Texas tradition of the DeLux fruitcake from Collin Street Bakery. Also, my mother always gets one of the apricot pecan fruitcakes on her way to visit me from Houston. It’s the difference between stopping at Czech Stop vs. Slovacek’s when driving through West on the way to Austin on I-35.

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