The California exodus is real. Very real.
Citing inability to buy a decent home, many Californians are opting to move where real estate property is affordable, such as Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Texas.
As far as the main rationale for Californians to head out of state for good is the availability of affordable housing in other Western states. In its 2019 Housing Market Forecast, the California Association of Realtors reported that the CA housing real estate market is characterized by high prices and tight inventory.
“Affordability is the main reason people buy houses in Manteca, Lathrop, and Stockton area,” says Mike Piccirilli, SnapFi Premier Realtor Partner, who helps his customers find more affordable homes in San Joaquin county. “However, affordability has plummeted over the years in all of California: the amount of money that it takes to purchase and maintain a home here is a much higher expense when compared to nearby states.”
Other reasons cited by migrating Californians are high cost of living, widespread homelessness, taxes, and even lack of political diversity.
In 2019, more than 653,000 Californians left for greener pastures in places like Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington. By contrast, only 480,000 people became new residents of the Golden State, resulting in a negative net population change for California.
The number of people leaving California actually went down in 2019 for the first time in 10 years:
However, experts expect 2020 numbers to shoot back up as the COVID pandemic gave a solid reason to many tech employees to work remotely. Working from home in Reno, NV or Fort Collins, CO makes no difference to productivity, but it certainly does impact cost and quality of life for many families.
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Top destinations for Californians migrating out: