Californians aren’t leaving the state en masse — but they are lea

57 Replies

Arizona real estate prices say different! :) But really, data shows people are moving in California, out of the cities but not necessarily out of the state. Inland Empire and Sacramento have had growth for example.

Yeah, great article @Francis A. , this new update from Zillow economists was great too, which shows the increase in rental market demand and price increase throughout the country which talks about top 3-5 markets trending. Some places it shows is the changes in the Bay Area and other areas within the country. 

https://www.zillow.com/researc...

@Francis A.  Content of the article (excerpt below) conflicts with the title. Fake news for Commi-fornians. 139K net population outflow in one quarter (>550k annualized) sure seems like a departure en masse to me. I own property in Phoenix and Northern AZ and there are California plates everywhere. And as @Chris Levarek alludes to, there are California $$ cash offers on homes all over the place. Everything is competitive going to BAFO and selling above list, oftentimes well above list. 

The number of people leaving California typically tracks with the amount entering the state. But the findings show that wasn’t the case in the fourth quarter of 2020, when 267,000 people left the state and only 128,000 entered

Originally posted by @Dave G. :

@Francis A.  Content of the article (excerpt below) conflicts with the title. Fake news for Commi-fornians. 139K net population outflow in one quarter (>550k annualized) sure seems like a departure en masse to me. I own property in Phoenix and Northern AZ and there are California plates everywhere. And as @Chris Levarek alludes to, there are California $$ cash offers on homes all over the place. Everything is competitive going to BAFO and selling above list, oftentimes well above list. 

The number of people leaving California typically tracks with the amount entering the state. But the findings show that wasn’t the case in the fourth quarter of 2020, when 267,000 people left the state and only 128,000 entered



Keep it in perspective though with 40 plus million people  120k is a drop in the bucket and hardly spells doom and gloom

I bet there were more births than that .

Also CA residents have been moving to OR WA NV ID UT AZ TX  for decades now.. many that move to TX come back though because of the weather same with AZ and NV  too hot..  I have sold houses to 4 folks from Texas in the last few months who just could not take the weather anymore.   so they are going both ways.

 

@Jay Hinrichs ok, fair enough. But the numbers in AZ don't lie and the majority are from CA, with OR and WA following behind. Maybe 500K people leaving a state with 40M is not a big deal but when a lot of them migrate to a state of 7M people it really helps move the market. And so some move back and you know them. Well, sure seems like most are staying when they come to Phoenix with nation-leading growth rates multiple years in a row. 

And I did not say it was doom and gloom. As an AZ real estate investor, it is juicing my property values big time. Keep coming, AZ is open.

My guess is that headlines that say “California looses .0034% of its state population” wouldn’t generate much attention.  I’m sure seeing an extra 8000 CA license plates in Phoenix feels like an invasion but keep things in perspective.  The 480,000 people that moved to CA out earn the 650,000 that left by a wide margin .  

Originally posted by @Joe Bertolino :

My guess is that headlines that say “California looses .0034% of its state population” wouldn’t generate much attention.  I’m sure seeing an extra 8000 CA license plates in Phoenix feels like an invasion but keep things in perspective.  The 480,000 people that moved to CA out earn the 650,000 that left by a wide margin .  

Idk, maybe this is anecdotal, but I've heard of millionaires moving from California to places like Texas, Arizona and Idaho (Boise) more than anyone else. It seems like the wealthier residents would have more of an incentive to move because of taxes (and other regulations) than the average citizen would.


Originally posted by @Chris G. :
Originally posted by @Joe Bertolino:

My guess is that headlines that say “California looses .0034% of its state population” wouldn’t generate much attention.  I’m sure seeing an extra 8000 CA license plates in Phoenix feels like an invasion but keep things in perspective.  The 480,000 people that moved to CA out earn the 650,000 that left by a wide margin .  

Idk, maybe this is anecdotal, but I've heard of millionaires moving from California to places like Texas, Arizona and Idaho (Boise) more than anyone else. It seems like the wealthier residents would have more of an incentive to move because of taxes (and other regulations) than the average citizen would.


Admittedly this data is a little old but I suspect it still holds true.  

https://www.google.com/amp/s/a...

I am not saying you are wrong but a “millionaire” leaving CA is just an average retiree that sold their house and has a $70k a year pension or $600k+ in a 401k.  Many retirees leave CA but per the data they are being replaced by doctors and software engineers.  

 

I don't think people really understand just how many people live in CA, and too often try and compare CA to a much smaller place like AZ, Nevada, CO and others. What may seem like a devastating number for a small state is merely crumbs for CA. And that doesn't mean that it's any better or worse, just that we flat out have more people by a number in the millions compared to most other states. CA has been and always will be a commuter state with people coming and going in droves. Not many other places operate in such a manner. 

So while a lot of people are leaving, the state is just fine and remains as booming as ever. CA will always remain a travel destination no matter what. People don't like AZ or TX in the summer when its 100 degrees at its lowest. Plus, for years CA residents and visitors have complained about it being overcrowded, so I wouldn't take this as a sign of doom, more relief from too many people congesting the cities. 

And you can't beat our weather :)

@Andy Eakes -- You're wrong, California hasn't always churned people.  

Post WW-II, California was a a beautiful Everyman's Paradise with a strong economy, and lots of middle class jobs, good schools and affordable real estate and plenty of upward mobility. 

This is no longer the case. 

Today, the middle-class is being squeezed out of California -- and California is rapidly becoming Brazil: 1% media/tech/politico wealthy with the rest 99% poor. 

This middle-class destruction is a global phenomenon, but Calfornia is a bellwether for the rest of the country. 

Young families are leaving California (as well as other places in similar conditions) in droves given that the price of real estate in any place with good schools is just brutal -- this is what is seeing families move to places like Austin and Boise etc etc -- simply put: the ability to buy the white picket fence dream in a good school district. 

Not to mention, companies are leaving California b/c of this same reason --- it's hard to keep talent if that talent cannot afford a home+good schools in the area.

I say this as a lifelong Californian who loves California and knows the state inside and out -- but have moved to Texas about six years ago. 


It is true that California coastal weather, from San Diego to Santa Barbara is the absolute best in the world (I used to live in Newport Beach and loved it) and that California has some of the best natural beauty in our country be it deserts, ocean, forests, mountains -- but the reality is that the California economy is not in great shape and getting worse, and it is getting incredibly expensive to raise kids there. 

Treu story: I turned down a $400k +bonus job with a brandname company b/c it would have had me moving back to LA. I love Southern California and even the coastal parts of LA -- but $400k in Los Angeles isn't that great of a gig. 

I suggest reading what Joel Kotkin has written about California's economy and demographics:

https://joelkotkin.com/is-the-...

https://www.ocregister.com/201...

https://www.city-journal.org/b...

Living in coastal CA is expensive.  why should it be otherwise?  It is costly to live were so many people want to live and there are limited resources (land, housing, water, etc).

But, do so many people want to live in CA?  The point of the post is people are leaving.  I do not look at the short-term population stats any more than I look at the short-term appreciation stats. The US census shows only Texas (which is a big state and can likely handle the increase) has had a larger population increase over the last 10 years than CA.  This CA population increase is occurring where there is already housing and resource shortages; an area that by measurable characteristics already has too many people.

I want people to leave.  My biggest complaint about coastal CA is the amount of people and the impact on resources (housing shortage, water shortage, etc.).  When it snows, the local mountains become over burdened with visitors.  Then the desert wildflowers are in bloom, the desert becomes over burden with visitors.  Try getting a camp site as a beach camp ground in the summer.  Permits for popular hiking trails (Half Dome, JMT, Whitney, etc.)

I do not know why so many people believe they have the right to live where they want to.  Why they believe that other people should foot some of the costs for them to live where they cannot afford to live.

The United States does not have a housing crisis, but parts of the United States (including coastal CA) does.  Why?  Because we let people choose to live in locations where there is not the resources for the amount of people who want to live there.

As for the post about millionaires leaving CA, In many areas in Coastal CA average size homes are $1M.  Millionaires are everywhere in coastal CA.  Even $10M is not that special.

If you want to leave coastal California, I wish you the best elsewhere.

Some very good perspectives here, so I'd like to try and add another.  Though the 150K net migration (so far) might be a drop in the bucket for California as a whole, many of the markets into which those people are moving don't consider it a drop in the bucket.  Even if only 1,000 families move into my markets of Oklahoma City and Tulsa (who see $500k for a nice 3500sqft home in the best neighborhoods as a steal) within a 6 mo period, it will have a significant impact on housing, which I believe it already has.  This may be why it seems like Californians are leaving in droves to us small/mid market folks.  

I will add, however, that the migration numbers do not reflect the spike in investment money coming into these other markets from the West Coast.  Anecdotal though it may be, the impact is already being felt by many of us on the ground, at least here in OK.  

I live in SoCal and every single person that I know here can give you the name of someone in their circle who has left for either TX, TN, or ID.  Politics and cost of business will continue to push people out until something changes...

We just had a company partner leave for Texas where we have already started setting up our NMLS license. 

This is of course anecdotal but surely the sign of an issue. 

California is an immigrant and hard worker dreamland. So if gov is opening more h1b visa and or more accepting immigrant, all these California outflow doesn't really matter LOL :)

@Dan Heuschele

If California were a product, you'd notice that every year it gets a bit worse and costs a bit more. 


@Scott England

The move from California to Texas (by young families) was already underway back in 2005. 

@Alex Bekeza

The middle class will continue to leave California for a long time. It is simply to expensive to start a middle-class family, if you don't have a trust fund.  

@Carlos Ptriawan

California is without a doubt, the most beautiful and interesting place in the United States --- but it is *NOT* a "hardworker dreamland". Taxes are brutal, real estate too expensive. 


real estate is expensive is result of the hardworker people ha ha , it's the most highest growing economy.
If you have very good economy like California and Washington, buying power increases, when BP increase, real estate increased. That's given.

@Carlos Ptriawan

With respect, I say that it’s easy to be a ‘hard-worker’ sitting in front of a computer working in tech. I’ve sat for 24 hours straight when working on interesting projects, sleeping once in two nights, etc.

Hardwork to me by immigrants is what those working in construction and other physically demanding jobs do. There’s plenty of them outside California. Also the non-immigrants working in agriculture and oil fields- that’s hard work to me.

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Dave G.:

@Francis A.  Content of the article (excerpt below) conflicts with the title. Fake news for Commi-fornians. 139K net population outflow in one quarter (>550k annualized) sure seems like a departure en masse to me. I own property in Phoenix and Northern AZ and there are California plates everywhere. And as @Chris Levarek alludes to, there are California $$ cash offers on homes all over the place. Everything is competitive going to BAFO and selling above list, oftentimes well above list. 

The number of people leaving California typically tracks with the amount entering the state. But the findings show that wasn’t the case in the fourth quarter of 2020, when 267,000 people left the state and only 128,000 entered



Keep it in perspective though with 40 plus million people  120k is a drop in the bucket and hardly spells doom and gloom

I bet there were more births than that .

Also CA residents have been moving to OR WA NV ID UT AZ TX  for decades now.. many that move to TX come back though because of the weather same with AZ and NV  too hot..  I have sold houses to 4 folks from Texas in the last few months who just could not take the weather anymore.   so they are going both ways.

Yep, the state has a massive population, sometimes more than 10x other states, it's all about perspective..

 

@Francis A.

They are leaving, but not with a purpose to blend or assimilate into a better community.

Oh, on the face of things they want changes, but when they find their new home, they will move to bring California nuances to their current area. And in time that nice place will have similar trappings.

I learned that I too did this in some ways.

Moved out of an area for 14 years and returned because of family hardships. I found that in my absence, the people in power changed, but not the politics or the desire to tax our way into prosperity.

I moved to a place where vehicle travel was needed and where taxes were set to help keep residents in their homes longer.

Moved back to a place that continues to ignore traffic congestion and thinks that painting turn lanes is the same as adding actual road lanes.

Not to despair. I have every feing that the homes vacated in California will be filled with others thinking that they too are "Done" with certain things. Neighborhoods may change, by people type and purse size, but homes will always be needed.

Make the deal! Every property has that perfect number!

The changes in California's population has less to do with the change in absolute numbers of people and a lot more to do with the socio-economic cohorts coming and going. 

The middle class is fleeing California. Yeah, that middle class might be replaced with low income helots -- but this isn't a good/stable socio-economic structure for California, and in fact, it is far worse than previous times. 

Post WW II California will be seen as peak California (best weather, strong economy, good schools, good jobs, relatively low population) and I envy the boomers who got to grow up in that time/space. 

C'est la vie.....

@Jai Reddy when you mention "

Hardwork to me by immigrants is what those working in construction and other physically demanding jobs do. There’s plenty of them outside California. Also the non-immigrants working in agriculture and oil fields- that’s hard work to me." --->

they're plenty in california too, but the skilled and unskilled immigrant does NOT want to leave california, the one class that's leaving CA mostly retirees.

I ask them many times why they don't want to move out of CA, reason is simple "safety and future". In CA we've so many non-english community and yes their home appreciates as well.

One thing the article is right is that many fleeing SF due to current conditions, too many homeless with super high price estate (perhaps the reason of the homeless population is the left wing politics), folks move 2 hour from SF and they can enjoy better living quality.