Sound Off: Where are Bay Area movers going to, and why?

  • ec390 920x920 Sound Off: Where are Bay Area movers going to, and why?

    Man and woman thinking about housing

    Man and woman thinking about housing

    Photo: Takasuu / Getty Images/iStockphoto



Man and woman thinking about housing

Man and woman thinking about housing

Photo: Takasuu / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Q: “Where are Bay Area movers going to, and why?”

A: We’ve seen an increase in the number of people choosing to “make the jump” and relocate, often to states like Washington or Colorado that promise similar lifestyles but a much lower cost of living as compared to the Bay Area. A confluence of factors and events has resulted in an increase in people moving out of the Bay Area.

A growing percentage of those are choosing to relocate altogether, usually for oft-cited reasons such as less expensive housing, better public schools, shorter commutes or more space.

One recent development enabling this trend is the rise of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the number of companies announcing that employees will be able to continue working remotely even once they might otherwise return to a traditional workplace.

The significant increase in property values across the Bay Area means homeowners can’t realize this windfall unless they move outside the area altogether. In addition to the differences in real estate costs, other geographies promise a lower overall cost of living when factoring in considerations such as education and taxes.

Lisa Wolfe, Compass, 415-990-8769,

A: We have found in Marin, that more and more homeowners are looking to relocate from San Francisco, due in large part to the pandemic. That is not too surprising, as so many people are now working from home, and living in a less dense area has become much more appealing.

A lot of people have been cooped up in their homes for a long period of time now, and with many people able to work remotely, and perhaps permanently, the need to be in the city has lessened.

Some of the reasons our clients have cited to relocate include Marin’s good schools, weather, outdoor activities, gorgeous views, and having more overall outdoor living space in their new home.

The thought also seems to be when things go back to normal, they can still be within driving distance of the city.

The Marin market continues to be very strong, despite the news and negativity about an exodus out of the Bay Area.

Kathleen Daly, Coldwell Banker, 415-519-6074,; Lisa Lange, Coldwell Banker, 415-847-7770,

A: This is a very interesting question and our answer is twofold. Yes, there are Bay Area residents who are leaving for the dream of more space, big back yards and lower living expenses. There are also many Bay Area residents moving within the Bay Area itself.

While San Francisco’s inventory continues to stack up it is important to note that sales over the past month have been very robust. We are seeing a great deal of “trading up” happening with renters becoming first time home buyers, and owners of condominiums making the leap into the single family home of their dreams. Outdoor space is important across the board and homes and condominiums with yards are the first to sell.

Some sellers are leaving the Bay Area, and in fact several of our clients have left the country. We have had a number of expat clients return to their homes in Great Britain and France. We are also seeing some families looking for more space making the move to places like Sonoma and Orinda where large yards are the norm. With interest rates continuing to hover around 3% now is great time to buy, sell or trade up.

Mike Shaw, Vanguard Properties, (415) 308-4281,; Bernie Katzmann, Vanguard Properties, (415) 906-6000,

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