People want to move away from San Francisco, but renters don’t want to go too far, according to a new report.
Apartment List found 46 percent of users based in San Francisco metro searching for rentals between Jan. 1, 2018 and May 1, 2019, looked at listings outside the metro area. (Note: The definition of SF metro in the report includes S.F., Alameda, San Mateo and Contra Costa counties.)
This number is significant, making San Francisco the third-largest group of users in the country considering a move outside the metro area. Orlando was first and Detroit second.
Among those in the San Francisco metro area looking to move elsewhere, more than one in three are searching just outside the area: 24.4 percent in the San Jose metro, 6.5 percent in Sacramento metro, and 3.9 in Vallejo metro.
These findings deflate a popular narrative that San Francisco residents are trying to escape the high cost of housing in Northern California to move to more affordable cities in other states such as Austin, Texas, Minneapolis, Minn. and Asheville, N.C.
“For me what I think this is showing is how hard the affordability crunch is in the Bay Area, but despite the lack of affordability we’re not seeing a mass exodus entirely from the region,” says Chris Salviati, housing economist for Apartment List. “We do see folks leaving the region all together, but what we’re seeing more is people staying in the region and looking at the more affordable outskirts.”
That said, there are some San Francisco residents thinking about a move and Los Angeles was the most popular destination in the Apartment List analysis. Portland was tops for out-of-state destination, followed by Salt Lake City and Seattle.
Bay Area housing prices are notoriously high and the May report from research firm CoreLogic found the median home price is $850,000 in the Bay Area and $1.4 million in San Francisco. The May report from renal listing site RENTCafe finds the average rent in San Francisco is $3,648.
Many studies have revealed these high prices are leading many residents to consider fleeing the region and the state entirely. A February survey by Edelman Intelligence, 53 percent of Californians are considering moving out of state due to the high cost of living.