Throughout history, the number of people leaving California has always been matched by those moving in. However, this has started to shift in recent years. While 16% of residents left the state in 2016, this has risen substantially. In 2021, 20% of California residents called it quits and moved elsewhere. This is not being matched by those coming in.
Bay Area Worst Affected
When breaking down the data in more detail, it seems that the Bay Area is experiencing the biggest exodus of residents. As more people are leaving, fewer are arriving, leaving empty properties in a usually desirable country; there seemed to be a large increase in those fleeing these big and bustling cities.
The contrast between 2020 and 2021 is stark. By the end of September 2021, records reveal that 45% fewer people moved into the Bay Area than they did in January 2020. This clearly shows a sharp decline. How long this will last is yet to be seen, but California, generally, and the Bay Area, in particular, will need to attract new residents.
Jobs, Living Costs to Blame
The raw data is interesting, but it is more worthwhile exploring the reasons behind this mass exodus. Before 2020, there were always as many people moving to California as leaving it. Since the start of the pandemic, though, there has been a clear decline in people arriving while the number of those leaving continues to rise.
The pandemic may have little effect on the pandemic. According to a recent survey, 49% of adults left because they found new and better jobs elsewhere. A further 23% left California searching for more affordable housing, while 20% wanted closer to family members. So, it seems that living costs are a major driving force.
It is a Sellers’ Market
Regardless of these numbers, California remains a sellers’ market. Perhaps that is why so many are keen to sell their home for a substantial price before moving into a luxury property in a flyover state. Recent reports reveal that four of the top ten sellers’ markets in the USA are California.
Cities like San Jose and San Francisco top this list, with Los Angeles and Sacramento not far behind. You can sell your house in the Central Valley using a dedicated service if you are looking to join the millions who want to move to a different state. Now’s the time to do it while property sales prices remain high.
Whether this trend is long-term or merely a blip is yet to be seen. It is simply too early to tell. However, a rise in people fleeing California from 16% in 2016 to 20% in 2021 is significant. If they cannot be replaced by people coming in, property owners will struggle to rent out their homes to new residents. Either way, it is interesting to explore why people move away so that local communities can make changes to improve their desirability.
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