Texas is 4 Times Ahead of the 2nd Place State in Relocations From California

Texas is claiming the headquarters of California companies at more than four times the rate of its nearest competitor, according to a study by McKinney-based Spectrum Location Solutions and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution released Tuesday.

The Lone Star State won 114 California corporate relocations from Jan. 1, 2018, to June 30 of this year, 89 more than Tennessee, which had the second-most wins in that period.

Forty-one of those companies planted corporate flags in North Texas. The Austin area claimed 57, Houston got nine and the San Antonio area attracted six.

Study authors Joseph Vranich and Lee Ohanian cited taxes, regulatory policies and energy costs as factors contributing to the California exodus.

“Moving a company to Texas, there’s a sense of calmness and a sense of certainty,” said Vranich, a longtime critic of California’s business environment who moved his own firm out of the state in 2018.

“Regulations per se are not bad. But having some stability in knowing what they are, how much they might change, that stability is evident in Texas.”

North Texas has welcomed dozens of high-profile companies from major West Coast metropolitan areas in recent years, including engineering giant AECOM, which announced its headquarters relocation from Los Angeles to Dallas last week.

Other recent California-to-Dallas moves include military-grade eyewear maker Wiley X, financial services firm First Foundation Inc. and mobile infrastructure consulting firm MD7 LLC.

The COVID-19 pandemic offered an ideal exit opportunity for companies looking to leave expensive cities like LA, San Francisco and New York City.

There were nearly 70 relocation and expansion announcements in the D-FW area last year, according to Dallas Regional Chamber data. So far this year, there have been 50.

That trend is showing no signs of slowing down. For the first six months of 2021, the number of headquarter relocations out of California happened at twice the rate of previous years.