Faced with sky-high prices, homebuyers look to leave Bay Area

Hunting for a house that’s affordable, nearly 1 in 5 home seekers living in the Bay Area is looking outside the region.

That’s the conclusion of a new analysis by Redfin. The brokerage’s inaugural “migration report” places the San Francisco metropolitan area — including San Jose and Oakland — in the No. 1 position among markets where house hunters are most likely to leave.

The brokerage sampled nearly 1 million users who looked for homes in 75 U.S. metro areas during the first three months of 2017.

Those 1 million users included about 110,000 in the San Francisco metro area, out of whom 21,300 — 19.4 percent — looked outside the region, where the cost of homes isn’t so prohibitive. The most common in-state destination for those heading toward the exits was Sacramento, while the most common out-of-state destination was Seattle.

“Fast-growing coastal cities may be generating the high-paying jobs, but they haven’t created enough budget-friendly housing to keep pace. The price of real estate and desire for homeownership is compelling many to uproot and seek housing in more affordable communities,” said Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist. “Even a Bay Area family with two solid incomes can struggle to afford a modest home. For many, the only path to homeownership is to pack up and move out.”

The analysis follows last month’s poll by the Bay Area Council showing that 40 percent of Bay Area residents — fed up with housing prices and traffic — want to leave in the next few years. Among millennials, the share of disgruntled residents is even higher: 46 percent want to get out, according to the poll.

With the housing supply at record low levels, competition among buyers has continued to push prices higher. The offerings tend to be scant: The California Association of Realtors reported Monday that pending sales in the Bay Area were down in March for the sixth straight month on a year-over-year basis.

Redfin’s new report shows the San Francisco metro area has the highest “net outflow” of users: 15,087. That figure is the difference between the number of potential homebuyers who want to move to the San Francisco metro area and the number who want to leave it; a lot more want to leave than come.

New York had the second highest “net outflow,” followed by Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/24/sjm-homeexit-0425/

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