Study: Dallas is a great new home for companies, but what about their workers?

As Open Listings officially launches in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area this week -- a region that is becoming home to more and more global corporate HQs -- we wanted to compare how workers of new and longtime area companies are doing in the wallet when it comes living affordability near work.

Business-friendly regulations have made the area an attractive home for companies, but what about their workers? Are they putting away more money after paying their monthly mortgage than employees in cities like Austin or San Francisco?

More importantly, if you’re moving to the Dallas area for work, which companies will give you the best opportunity to afford permanent housing in a non-stressful commute to and from your new office?

Homes Near Work Dallas

Our methodology:
Using the Open Listings platform, we analyzed thousands of home sales prices near the headquarters (within a 20-minute commute time of some of the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s largest and most well-known companies during the month of June. We then used public salary data from Paysa to get average salaries for workers at each of these companies within the area.

From there, we calculated the percentage of an average workers’ monthly income that would be put towards a mortgage on a home nearby.

Finally, we estimated the monthly cost of owning a home by using the mortgage payment for a 30-year year fixed loan with a 4.5% interest rate (national average) and added property tax to this figure based on the local rate in order to paint a more accurate picture of what a monthly payment would look like.

Higher salaries & higher prices homes near DFW HQs

While the median home price across Dallas-Fort Worth is currently $189,000, the cost to live within an easy commute of one of the ten area headquarters we analyzed was $215,000 (median sale price). That’s a housing cost premium of nearly 14%.

The discrepancy makes sense as workers at these large corporations are also making some of the highest salaries across the region. The median wage for workers across the ten companies we analyzed was $96,000. The average salary across the region is more along the lines of $60,000’s.

Toyota employees relocating to work at Toyota’s new North America headquarters in Plano are looking at the highest price to live nearby work, with median sale prices in the area of $289,000. Plano is starting to resemble Irving in terms of being a home for large corporations with J. C. Penney and Fedex nearby Toyota, and HP recently signed a significant lease in the area as well.

The influx of executives working at Toyota and other local corporations has undoubtedly increased demand for homes in this Northeast corridor of the region. Workers here are primarily looking for homes on the west and east side of the Plano city limits, where more of the luxury inventory is located.

Workers at ExxonMobil’s Irving office are likely spending the second most on finding a home near work with the median sale prices nearby their Las Colinas Boulevard office currently hovering at $287,000.

Rounding out the top three most expensive areas to live nearby top Dallas-Fort Worth employers was State Farm. Workers at State Farm’s Richardson office are looking at median sale prices in the area of $235,000.

Facebook workers' wallets doing the best in Dallas

While a recent study found that Dallas-Forth residents are spending 16.5% of their median incomes paying the mortgage, there are some workers at top Dallas companies that are doing much better.

Just like Austin, it seems as though incoming technology salaries in Dallas may have a big future impact on home affordability in the area. Of the ten companies we analyzed, Facebook workers in Dallas had the highest average salary ($140,741). With a much larger salary than the average salary at the other companies we analyzed, the percentage of an average Facebook worker’s income spent on housing to live nearby their Fort Worth data center is only 11%.

Facebook currently has 200 employees within its Fort Worth location and the number will likely double in the coming years. It’s easy to see why the company’s engineers would be attracted to Dallas. Our previous analysis of living affordability for technology workers found that Facebook engineers in San Francisco were paying 29% of their income to pay the mortgage on a nearby home, while Facebook workers in Austin were paying 13% to do the same. Dallas is more affordable than either!

However, as more high six-figure employees come into the area, it will likely have a big impact on demand for homes in the area -- especially the upper end of homes. It may also become more difficult for local companies to compete for technology talent with a company willing to pay high six figure salaries like Facebook.

Doing the next best in the wallet in Dallas was Lockheed Martin employees in Fort Worth. According to Paysa data, employees there make the third most on average of the ten companies we analyzed ($112,775). Combine that with paying the second least on nearby housing ($193,500 median sale price), and you can see why employees are only looking at spending 12% of their income on their mortgage.

Rounding out the top three was JP Morgan and AT&T employees who are both looking at spending around 16% of their income to pay mortgages on homes within an easy commute of their Dallas offices.

Insurance and banking workers' wallets fare a bit worse

Of the ten largest and most well-known employers in Dallas-Fort Worth, those that work within the insurance and banking industries are doing the worst when it comes to living affordability nearby work.

According to Paysa data the average employee at the local headquarters for State Farm ($66,982) and Liberty Mutual ($69,171) are making half as much as the average worker at Facebook. With State Farm workers needing to pay one of the higher prices for their own real estate nearby their Richardson office ($235,000), this means they are looking at spending around 25% of their monthly income on a mortgage payment.

Liberty Mutual workers are looking at slightly less expensive homes for sale nearby their Plano office ($185,000), which means their monthly housing costs will run them around 19% of their monthly income.

Meanwhile, Bank of America employees are taking more home on average ($78,426) than Liberty Mutual workers, but they are spending more of their monthly income on mortgage payments (20%). The reason is that the housing costs near their downtown Dallas Bank of America Plaza office run considerably higher.

In fact, the average home sale price through the first half of the year was $213,500. That may be another reason the company and employees are looking to move to the recently opened Bank of America Frisco office.

Fort Worth is the most competitive home market for local workers

Outside of looking at the overall sale price of homes, another way to look at the most competitive markets in any area is to look at the number of homes that sold above the listing price.

Of the neighborhoods we analyzed and homes sold within the region, workers at Facebook and American Airlines may be looking at the most competition for buying a home.

Over 47% of homes sold nearby these Fort Worth area companies went for above the listing price. One reason may be lack of inventory. Of the thousands of home sales we analyzed during June, sales across the overlapping area around these two headquarters only made up 14% of home sales.

Lockheed Martin, another Fort Worth-based company rounded out the top three areas that had the most inventory sell above the listing price. Nearly 37% of the homes sold around its Fort Worth office sold above the listing price.

Looking for your next home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area? Use Open Listings to house hunt 24/7, book tours on-demand, make offers online & get back thousands.

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