Making It in the Bay

Cities With Highest Housing Prices See Largest Exodus: Report

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It's no secret that since the pandemic started, California is seeing an exodus. Now a new study says the Bay Area appears to be getting hit the hardest.

Santa Clara-based company Upwork surveyed more than 20,000 people and found that cities with the highest housing prices are seeing the largest number of people leaving.

And few places are as pricey as San Francisco and San Jose. 

“There’s a couple factors that are working against the Bay Area,” said Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork. “One is that a lot of people in the Bay Area have jobs that can be done remotely. The other factor is just that it’s an extremely expensive housing market.” 

Ozimek says you can already tell there is a Bay Area exodus by looking at the recent rental market.

“You can look at San Francisco, San house and the general area and see that apartment rents are declining rapidly,” said Ozimek.

Scott Fuller is the founder of a company called “Leaving the Bay Area” that helps clients relocate to less expensive places.

He’s seen the trend but adds that the work from home trend isn't the only recent event pushing people to leave.

“It certainly has increased, really probably in the last 30 days,” said Fuller. “Especially with a lot of the issues we’ve had with fires. You take a lot of these collective things that have happened in the Bay Area and in California, and at some point, people kind of reach their tipping point.”

According to Fuller, Arizona and Texas are some of the most popular states to go from California.

In 2019 – Uhaul listed Texas as a state with far more people coming than going. But California was just the opposite.

Renting a Uhaul truck from San Jose to Austin next weekend, for example, will cost you over $2,000.

But if you want to go from Austin to San Jose the price drops to $800.

San Jose to Phoenix will cost just over $1,000 but Phoenix to San Jose drops to $200. 

Experts say don't expect the trend to end anytime soon.

 “I certainly see this continuing to increase, continuing over the next 3 to 5 years at least,” Fuller said.

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