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Experts say that jobs are the most important determinant of where home buyers will locate. But as Daren Blomquist, Attom Data Solutions’ senior vice president, tells MarketWatch staffer Andrea Riquer, taxes are “the icing on the cake” in areas that are seeing strong population inflows anyway.

Among the counties that saw the biggest percentage of in-migration in 2017, according to Census data, all are in Texas, Florida, Georgia, or the Carolinas. (Texas doesn’t have particularly low property taxes, but it has no personal income tax, making the overall tax burden much more manageable.)

According to Blomquist’s analysis of Census data, the counties that had at least a 1% population increase had an average tax bill of $2,706, while in counties with a least a 1% decline in population saw an average tax bill of $3,900.

$1,200 annually— or $100 a month—isn’t a huge difference, and it’s why Blomquist says pure dollar figures aren’t the sole driver of where people locate. Still, home values are surging in most markets around the country, making tax considerations even more critical. And now there’s a new wrinkle for Americans trying to figure out what they can afford: last year’s tax law changes reducing how deductible property taxes may “add momentum to the trend we already see in favor of lower tax-burden states,” Blomquist said.

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