San Francisco

Nearly Half of Bay Area Residents Want Out: Poll

The Bay Area's soaring cost of living has more residents considering a move out of the area, according to a new poll conducted by the Bay Area Council.

The central question in the poll asked people whether they would likely move away from the Bay Area, and 46 percent agreed, a significant jump from last year.

Some residents are not surprised by the poll's findings.

"Where can you find homes that are less than a million now (in the Bay Area)?" San Francisco resident Ted Heca Oili said.

Cheryl Young, a senior economist at Trulia, says Las Vegas, Phoenix and Dallas are hot destinations for those leaving California. But for Bay Area residents, the top spot belongs to the Empire State.

"It’s almost a reverse sticker shock," she said. "So if you’re leaving the Bay Area and your reference point is say, $1 million looking for a home, and when you go to New York and you’re looking at the New York metro in general and you’re looking at homes in that area at $600,000 or $700,000, it may seem pretty affordable to you."

The survey also found 45 percent agree it’s expensive to live in the Bay Area. But there are other concerns.

"Most people who live here know what causes people to leave: Everything is expensive, traffic, homeless," said Dennis Parlante of San Francisco.

Some people who are trying to move to the Bay Area are having to get creative. Rowan Lynn is moving from Arizona for a graduate school program.

"I’ve decided to move into a travel trailer and park it in the Delta area and then commute here to the city," Lynn said.

For those resident who said they would likely to move, 61 percent indicated they would move out of state, the poll shows.

According to U.S. Census data, the Bay Area gained about 16,000 people between 2011 and 2015, but the region lost one-and-half-times that from 2016 to 2017.

The Bay Area Council email survey of registered voters was conducted March 20 to April 3 and had 1,000 respondents.

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