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Bay Area residents contemplating Sacramento exodus, says report

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Very first “migration report” claims some natives have wandering eyes

The Sacramento skyline from the river.
Devin Cook

San Francisco’s 2017 doom and gloom train continues with yet another site releasing a study this week showing that locals in California, particularly in the Bay Area, have developed a wandering eye for homes elsewhere.

The real estate site Redfin released its migration report Monday, showing which cities site users are most frequently browsing homes in—and by extension, which cities they’re most likely to be thinking about leaving.

All told, nearly 20 percent of San Francisco and San Jose Redfin users in the first three months of 2017 (the site combines the regions into one stat) were at least flirting with the idea of a home elsewhere, checking at least ten ads abroad in that time.

That’s not as many as in some other cities. For example, New York’s ratio was 23 percent; Houston’s 25 percent; Dayton, Ohio’s an absolutely alarming 51-plus percent.

But when the site factors in how many—or rather, how few—users in other cities are simultaneously shopping for homes here it gives the Bay Area the highest Net Outflow rating of all of the cities studied.

SF browsers most often had their eye on Sacramento, although Seattle and Portland, Oregon were as usual attractive destinations as well.

This does not mean that 20 percent of San Francisco and San Jose residents are really going to take the plunge and relocate, of course. (It is Sacramento, after all.)

The report considers only Redfin users, albeit with a sample size of 1 million, and not everyone who browses home is really picking up stakes and leaving.

Seattle was the top out-of-state destination.
Public Domain
Portland poaching continues as well.
Stuart Seeger

According to the U.S. Census, San Francisco gains far more people than it loses every year (though the most recent figures explore only through 2015), and the city still anticipates a net gain of at least 10,000 new resident per year.

However, this is the third report in less than six weeks suggesting a general regional restlessness.

At the end of March, the Bay Area Council’s annual phone survey of a 1,000 people found roughly 40 percent of the Bay Area considering decamping.

And at the beginning of April, the resume site Indeed reported that nearly 40 percent of Bay Area tech workers on its site were looking for a job elsewhere.

These sorts of survey are usually most helpful when compared with the same benchmark in the past, but in this case this is actually Redfin’s first migration report, though the site plans to release a new one each quarter.