By evaluating costs in more than 200 metro areas across the nation, the data ranked Austin as highest in Texas but only the 65th most expensive rental market in the U.S. Home-seekers will find it to be the 73rd costliest in the nation.
Renting a two-bedroom place in Austin rose to $954 in 2009 from $912 in 2008.
Jonas Lord, an agent with the Carvajal Group in Austin, Texas, said the city's density, appearance and the job market, which is sustained by diverse government, education and technology fields, make it more desirable than other areas in the state.
"It's a lot prettier than other cities in Texas that are flat and concrete jungles," he says. "We have a lot more trees and lakes, and we have a river running through downtown."
A quick search of Austin-area blogs will show you a wide variety of appealing amenities in this college-town. Austin Town Hall is a reminder of the happening music scene (SXSW shout out!); Tastingbuds covers the array of dining options (hope you like BBQ); and Austin on Two Wheels will show you how easy (and cheap) it is to get around the city.
However, when stacked up against other major metropolitan cities outside of Texas, Austin is considerably more affordable.
San Francisco topped the study's list as the nation's most expensive rental city with a the fair market value of a 2-bedroom home going for $1,760. Based on the same criteria, Los Angeles fell in 10th slot at $1,420 and New York was No. 14 at $1,359.
But no matter where you live and how much it costs, most of us better love renting. Even with low interest rates and diving home prices, the study concluded that home ownership is still financially out of reach for many working professionals.