Many tech companies are placing their bases of operation in smaller cities.

In an effort to escape exorbitant housing prices in New York, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C., executives and companies alike have fled to smaller, up-and-coming tech job centers like Richmond, V.A., Eugene, Ore., Huntsvile, Ala. and Manchester, N.H.

All of these small cities sport populations under 225,000, median house prices under $250,000, and burgeoning tech industry job centers. While some expatriates telecommute or travel to their city jobs, others either join the local tech market or move with their companies.

The Curse online gaming management company moved from San Francisco to Huntsville, Ala in 2013. Washington, D.C. based CoStar plans to base a research center in Richmond.

[Jeff] Hanlon traded a 550-square-foot apartment in Mountain View, Calif., that he rented for $2,400 a month for a 4,000-square-foot house in a historic neighborhood of Richmond, Va. Purchased for $710,000 last year—a pittance by Silicon Valley standards—the 1902 home has five bedrooms, a formal dining room and an eat-in kitchen, where Mr. Hanlon and his husband, Rem Jurado, hosted extended family last Christmas. “A house like this would have never been an option” in Silicon Valley, says Mr. Hanlon.

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