AUSTIN, Texas — Life in a boomtown has its perks. Growth brings opportunity – but it also increases costs.

We're seeing that more than ever when it comes to housing. The Austin Board of Realtors released its latest housing numbers, and they show the median home price is now $320,000 – a 73% increase in the last 10 years.

We decided to look at the fastest growing ZIP codes in the area, and what we found is that families are increasingly choosing to live outside the Austin city limits.

“The hottest two areas right now [are] Cedar Park and Leander. The northwest sector of Austin,” said Susan Horton, a longtime Austin Realtor.

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The sleepy suburbs of Austin aren't so sleepy anymore.

“Back in the day, Cedar Park and Leander were sleepy little communities where people had to drive into Austin to be able to shop, eat or have any form of activities," Horton said. "Today, they have all types of activities and restaurants and shopping at their fingertips. So they can live, work and play right there in their own backyard."

Horton has seen a lot of changes in her 30-year career. The biggest is showing up this year.

“People are not investing in Austin proper,” she said.

The proof is in the numbers.

Leander tops the list

These are the ZIP codes that have sold the most houses so far this year:

  • 78641, Leander: Median home price, $288,083; 1,632 homes sold 
  • 78130, Canyon Lake/New Braunfels: Median home price $240,000; 1,559 homes sold 
  • 78660, Pflugerville: Median home price $268,000; 1,548 homes sold 
  • 78613, Cedar Park: Median home price $327,250; 1,117 homes sold 
  • 78628, Sun City/Georgetown: Median home price $338,135; 1,010 homes sold 

The five hottest selling ZIP codes in the Austin area are based on sales numbers provided by the Austin Board of Realtors. (Note: Data was provided by the Texas REALTORS® Data Relevance Project in partnership with the Austin Board of REALTORS®. Data analysis provided through a research agreement with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.)

In the hottest ZIP code, 78641 in Leander, you can buy a three-bedroom, three-bath, 2,300-square-foot home for $285,000.

“The median price is $288,000 in the Leander area. Still, that's affordable enough that an average family with two incomes of about $95,000 a year can afford to live there and own their own property,” Horton said.

Prices are pushing people out of Austin

In Austin, where the median price is now $320,000, families sometimes have to stretch. Urban communities once billed as "affordable" no longer are for the average family, especially when you factor in property taxes.

“As prices skyrocket, taxes continue to increase. We have nothing to offer these new folks coming into town. They're being forced out. They have to go to the suburbs,” Horton said.

All part of the growing challenge of life in a growing city.

WATCH: Study says many Austinites can't afford high rent

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