Re­port re­veals peo­ple flee­ing Sil­i­con Val­ley

Res­i­dent head­ing for Ne­vada, Texas and Idaho looking for af­ford­abil­ity

The Mercury News Weekend - - LOCAL NEWS - By Katy Mur­phy kmur­phy@batare­anews­group.com

The heart of the na­tion’s tech sec­tor, the as­tro­nom­i­cally ex­pen­sive Santa Clara County, leads the state in res­i­dents looking to move out of town, a new re­port found.

Us­ing prop­erty searches and cen­sus data, an­a­lysts at real­tor.com found that a larger share of res­i­dents are leav­ing Santa Clara County— home to tech be­he­moths Google and Ap­ple — than any other county in Cal­i­for­nia. Nearby San Ma­teo County, where Face­book is head­quar­tered, came in sec­ond, just ahead of Los An­ge­les County.

“They’re looking for af­ford­abil­ity and not find­ing it in Santa Clara County,” said Danielle Hale, chief econ­o­mist for real­tor.com.

The Bay Area has long been a costly place to live, but a tight hous­ing sup­ply paired with an un­prece­dented eco­nomic boom pushed rents and real es- tate even fur­ther out of reach for all but the most aff lu­ent res­i­dents. Lowand mid­dle-in­come fam­i­lies and younger work­ers un­able to find apart­ments or houses they can af­ford have been forced fur­ther afield, a trend that has led to ul­tra-long com­mutes and peren­ni­ally clogged free­ways.

The cri­sis has in­spired a flurry of state leg­is­la­tion to spur enough new hous­ing con­struc­tion to slow and even­tu­ally lower prices, in­clud­ing a sweep­ing pro­posal to add mil­lions of homes by pub­lic tran­sit. It died in April, but its au­thor, Sen. Scott Wiener, DSan Francisco, has vowed to try again next year.

In­stead of stay­ing put, many Santa Clara County res­i­dents are de­camp­ing for Alameda, Sacra­mento, San Joaquin or Placer coun­ties, looking at homes that are $509,000$894,000 less than the Santa Clara me­dian price of $1.28 mil­lion or leav­ing

the state al­to­gether and mov­ing to Ari­zona, Ne­vada, Idaho or Texas for even bet­ter deals.

This was the first time real­tor.com con­ducted such an anal­y­sis, which did not an­a­lyze the pat­terns by age. But Hale said it ap­pears that the in­creased prop­erty searches out­side of Sil­i­con Val­ley are at least partly driven by mil­len­ni­als — roughly span­ning the ages of 22 to 37 — de­ter­mined to get a foothold in the hous­ing­mar­ket, even if it means mov­ing.

While work­ers have flocked to the Bay Area for high-pay­ing jobs, a re­cent re­port from the Joint Ven­ture Sil­i­con Val­ley think tank found that nearly as many peo­ple are leav­ing as are com­ing in.

If mil­len­ni­als and oth­ers con­tinue to leave the Bay Area in search of af­ford­able homes, Hale said, “It could even­tu­ally lead to the slow­ing of the fren­zied pace of the hous­ing mar­ket.”

The top out- of-state des- tina­tions for the South Bay ex­o­dus are the ar­eas in and around Phoenix, Ari­zona; Reno and Las Ve­gas, Ne­vada; Austin, Texas; and Boise, Idaho — where homes are $ 750,000 to $965,000 less than the typ­i­cal prop­erty in San­taClara.

The re­port also re­veals the rip­ple ef­fect of such mi­gra­tions and their up­ward pres­sure on home prices. Take Alameda County, one of the top des­ti­na­tions for peo­ple flee­ing the South Bay — but also # 6 on the Cal­i­for- nia ex­o­dus list: As prices in the East Bay city sky­rocket, many are mov­ing east to Con­tra Costa, San Joaquin, Sacra­mento and Placer coun­ties in search of cheaper hous­ing.

Mean­while, the me­dian home price in Sacra­mento County — $357,000 — has risen each month for the past six years, the Sacra­mento Bee re­ported last week, jump­ing by 12 per­cent in the past year.

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