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UC Berkeley report: Half of Bay Area wants to leave over housing

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Au revoir?

Dark clouds over San Francisco skyscrapers. Photo by West Coast Scapes

Every few months a new public opinion poll suggests more and more Bay Area denizens want to hit the road over the high cost of housing.

UC Berkeley added another voice to the chorus with a recent poll asking residents of the Bay Area, Los Angeles, the South Coast, Central Valley, and broader Southern California and Northern California regions whether or not they felt golden about their future in the golden state.

When asked about the problem of housing affordability, 65 percent of Bay Area residents called it “extremely serious,” the single most concerned response of any California region.

But when asked whether they would consider moving because of housing costs, only 51 percent of Bay Area respondents said yes—the smallest percentage of positive responses to that question out of any California region.

On the one hand, that’s a much smaller number than the 83 percent of renters who, back in August, told pollsters they might leave. On the other, it’s much higher than a March poll showing that 40 percent of locals wanted to leave, up from 34 percent from the previous year.

It’s not unusual for different surveys to yield different results when asking the same question. In this case the UC Berkeley poll might have captured different samples because, according to the university, it focused on registered voters:

The poll was conducted online by YouGov August 27-September 5 in English and Spanish. The survey was completed among a statewide sample of 1,200 registered voters and included an oversampling of 200 registered voters who were parents of children under the age of 18. [...] YouGov also aligned statistical weights to align the [samples] to their proper population proportion.

Statewide, the younger the age the more likely they might consider moving, with 65 percent of adults ages 29 and under pondering a move, versus only 38 percent 65 or older.

Notably, 63 percent of those polled in the Bay Area also said they support rent control laws, versus just 22 percent who don’t, the highest response in the state except for LA, where 68 percent favor such laws.

Photo by Stuart Monk