Chances are, you have at least one friend who talks constantly aboutleaving the city for good. Or maybe you’ve actually seen friends pull the trigger and head to somewhere like Seattle, Boulder or Austin. Either way, planning for the inevitable departure from the most expensive city in the US is just casual — if not constant — dinner-party conversation here.
In fact, a 2016 Bay Area Council poll found that one-third of Bay Area residents say they are likely to leave the region in the next few years. But with all that talk, only about 5 percent of all households in San Francisco actually moved out of the city between 2010 and 2014, according to new migration data from Trulia. When they left, 27.3 percent headed to one of the 14 cities in Alameda County, including Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda. And 31.5 percent of new arrivals to all of the East Bay during that time hailed from San Francisco.
More than 1,500 former-SF city households settled in LA, whereas upwards of 850 chose wallet-gouging New York City, and almost 650 landed in the Seattle area.
However further your dollar will go in the East Bay, there’s still a housing crunch on the sunny side of the bay. A 2016 poll by the Bay Area Council found that 74 percent of residents believe it’s harder to find housing today than it was a year ago, and in Alameda County, that number jumps up to 78 percent.
Lack of new construction isn’t the only barrier in the East Bay. Though the population of Oakland increased by 22,000 from 2010 to 2014, the number of new housing units constructed over the same period was only 711, according to a recent report by Oakland’s city auditor, Brenda Roberts.
And the homes that are being built are intended for the wealthy, making it tough for low-income migrants and residents. Oakland has seen a 34 percent rental increase since 2011, which now makes it the fourth most expensive city in the country in which to rent a home, according to the auditor’s report. To face the housing problem, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors recently voted to include a measure for a $580 million affordable-housing bond on the ballot in November, and cities in the area have purposefully set aside funds for dealing with the issue.
Though the population of Oakland increased by 22,000 from 2010 to 2014, the number of new housing units constructed over the same period was only 711.
“There’s a shortage of housing in San Francisco, just as there’s a shortage of housing here [in Alameda County],” said Alameda County planning director Albert Lopez. “But your money goes a bit further in the East Bay.” Despite it all, data from Trulia shows that most households that left San Francisco between 2010 and 2014 — roughly 30 percent — ended up in the East Bay. And almost a quarter of ex-San Franciscans headed south to the Peninsula.
One-third of Bay Area residents say they are likely to leave the region in the next few years.
Some San Franciscans decided to leave the Bay Area altogether. More than 1,500 former-SF city households settled in LA, whereas upwards of 850 chose wallet-gouging New York City, and almost 650 landed in the Seattle area. These numbers point to a population that’s leaving the Bay Area to follow jobs or perhaps live a bit more affordably without sacrificing the conveniences and cultural opportunities a metropolitan city has to offer.
While New York City and San Francisco have been competing over which is themost expensive for the past couple of years, Seattle’s and LA’s prices have been sneaking up as well. The median price of a home in LA jumped by 14 percent from 2014, and Seattle’s median-home-price increase was even more dramatic, at 20 percent over the same period.
In fact, among the top eight destinations for former San Francisco households,Sacramento was the only one with a median-home sales price of less than $450,000 in 2014. Even former East Bay residents leaving the Bay Area are choosing Sacramento: up to 15 percent of households left Alameda and Contra Costa Counties for the Sacramento area between 2010 and 2014. It makes sense, since today, the median sales price for a home in Sacramento is just $275,000, and the median rental price is less than $1,600 a month. Even if these prices seem ridiculously low, they still represent a 16 percent growth from two years ago.
Each city that former San Francisco families flee to seems to keep raising its prices. But it’s not totally our fault. Over the past year, home values have risen by 4.9 percent across the entire country.
So is there a city out there that’s not growing? A place we can go to that won’t eventually price us out? Actually, there is. Look out, Atlantic City, you’re next.
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