Texas metros benefit from some idiosyncratic economic features. Rising oil prices slow economic activity in most of the country, but are good for Texas. After a brutal property bust centered in Dallas in the 1980s, the state tightened mortgage regulations, which reduced the incidence of reckless lending during the latest housing boom.
Yet the big secret to success is Texan cities’ willingness to capitalize on their advantages through an extraordinary openness to growth. Relative friendliness to immigration is one source of strength. Between them, Dallas and Houston welcomed over 600,000 new residents from abroad over the past decade.