Real estate migration patterns: San Franciscans increasing looking at Sacramento for affordable homes

Get me out of here!

That seems to be what many potential home buyers in the Bay Area are saying these days as they come up against the region’s astronomical housing prices. A new report from Redfin analyzing 75 metro areas across the nation shows the Bay Area topping the list for “net outflow” — the number of online searchers looking to move outside the metro where they live.

New York was second on the list, followed by Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., according to Redfin’s “Migration Report” for the second quarter. It indicates that home buyers increasingly are looking to leave expensive coastal cities in search of affordability.

San Francisco house hunters — faced with a median sales price of $1.25 million — most commonly looked to Sacramento, where the median has been climbing, but still feels like a bargain: $376,000. The most common out-of-state destination for San Franciscans was Seattle.

For homeowners in Los Angeles, the most common destination was San Diego — or Las Vegas, Nevada, for those looking to leave the state.

Conversely, San Diego registered the greatest “net inflow” of Redfin’s online users, with the greatest concentration of searches launched there by potential buyers from Los Angeles. Second on the list for “net inflow” was Sacramento, with a preponderance of searches there launched by buyers now living in San Francisco.

San Francisco was also the top point of origin for searches by out-of-towners looking to live in Austin, Texas, a growing tech hub where home prices may be going up but remain affordable, at least by Bay Area standards.

Taylor Marr, a data scientist who worked on the report, cited “strong buyer demand and competition in mid-tier cities” including Sacramento, Phoenix and Atlanta.

The report — you can read it here — also noted that Chicago, Boston and Seattle had the highest share of residents looking to stay in their current metros.

Top: Photo of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)






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  • hoapres

    That’s what happens when you have h1b infestation coupled with Chinese buying up the SF Bay Area.

    If we didn’t have h1b infestation then the tech companies wouldn’t be able to bring in an almost unlimited supply of CHEAP foreign labor and the result would be that the tech companies would start moving some of the work elsewhere.


    The Chinese having a bucket load of pieces of paper called US dollars since we don’t make anything in the US anymore are buying up Silicon Valley real estate.

  • hoapres

    If you can’t afford to live here then just move. That’s the line one hears all the time.

    Fair enough.

    But when one suggests that the same should apply to tech companies because the SF Bay Area can’t attract American workers then one gets a blank stare. The tech companies simply bring in more foreign labor.

  • elkhornsun

    The situation is bad but not nearly as terrible as it was in the 1980’s when Ronald Reagan and his FED put interest rates up at over 12%. My first home mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed interest loan was at 14%. Home mortgages are now a a third of that amount and so is the monthly payment.

    California has a third world transportation system that forces commuters into cars as their only way to get to work. Our incompetent county and state transportation planners continue in the insanity by spending 95% of the transportation budget and all bond money on adding more traffic lanes which has been a failed strategy since 1950’s when the expanded Hollywood Freeway opened and the highway engineers said it would have capacity for the next 10 years. 1 year later it was at 100% of capacity. BART should have ringed the SF bay area but incompetent Santa Clara county supervisors thought that buses were OK and kept it from coming through the county.

    County supervisors and city councils have been remiss in not forcing more multi-family housing to be built and allowing suburban sprawl with house spacing that is not conducive to supporting light rail.

    The transportation system in the United States is in far worse shape in 2017 than it was in 1950 with the increased privatization of the infrastructure that has made it more expensive and more time consuming for people to move around, though highly profitable for the real estate, construction, auto, and insurance industries. The enduring myth is that private enterprises are superior to government in providing services efficiently. Good luck trying to find a single situation where that has actually happened.

    Telecommuting is also hampered by our privatized communications situation. I live in a community of 17,000 people that is located 50 miles south of Silicon Valley and I cannot even get DSL service at my office thanks to the local government providing AT&T with a local telecom monopoly.

    • hoapres

      It’s worse because use we have more people today.

  • CarefulReader

    This is a response on point with the alleged movement to Sacramento, California by Bay Areans.

    As one who tried to do the very thing that is being reported on, here is some fair warning.

    Sacramento has had more than 50 days of heat exceeding one hundred degrees Fahrenheit since May to date. Bicycle parts melt in that heat. It is impossible to be outdoors for very long in that heat, even out of the sun’s direct rays.

    2) Sacramento has a crime rate that rivals Oakland, only the shooting and murders happen in odd places; at a running public field before dark in mid town, shootings and murders downtown near the capitol, suicide by gun at State Buildings downtown, murders in homes generally in South Sacramento which comprises a great deal of the City.

    Beyond Sacramento City there is a great deal of land. Allot of it is at or near sea level, and is described as residing in the flood plane. Though Sacramento seems to be away from the fault lines of the rest of the State, earthquakes from Nevada are felt there in the Sacramento Region beyond the twin rivers. Being in the flood plane means you have to buy flood insurance.
    Levees and other levee like structures “weir” are in need of repairs. Millions of dollars have to be raised to repair the weirs in West Sacramento and Sacramento where the American and Sacramento Rivers run.

    The traffic going from San Jose or San Francisco into Sacramento as early as 11 AM is bumper to bumper, no exaggeration on 680 to 80 to 50.

    Traveling west to San Francisco is risky because at any time an accident can occur on 80 and backing traffic up for hours.

    Traveling an and around Sacramento is disappointing. You are stuck on small two or at most three lane highways dominated by large trucks hauling everything. Getting to the airport can be a hassle if there is an accident on 5 or a great deal of traffic. People tell me that their commute from Rancho Cordova to the airport where they work takes them a minimum of an hour and a half!!!!!

    San Francisco and San Jose built great highway systems. If you are accustomed to having such ease of access in driving, you might not like Sacramento. There are no plans I have heard of to alter the present highways of 50 and 80.

    There is racial violence against Asians in South Sacramento. There is a great deal of vandalism against owners of Asian businesses, such as restaurants.

    In Yolo County there is an injunction against any and all gangs. But it will run out in a year if not renewed. Gangs are everywhere in West Sacramento and have been checked by the local police. Nevertheless they operate in West Sacramento.

    Yolo County is behind in all respects to the general advances of the State in services and adoption of State Laws. They just don’t enforce many laws on the California State books, because they cannot afford a City Attorney to even look into adopting some of the laws.

    But Yolo is green, peaceful, bucolic, and wonderful. Nowhere else is there such greenery. You can hear birds singing at the creeks which run every where, man made or not. It is very natural.

    Fire, Police, and emergency services are excellent and responsive in both Yolo and Sacramento Counties but crime happens.

    I truly don’t recommend Sacramento unless they implement a 24 hour video surveillance of all the neighborhoods, including Natomas where just yesterday, tire thieves have made off with numerous whole sets of high end cars parked on the streets.

    Lastly, try highway 5 as an alternative to get into Sacramento. It is like being in Texas and there isn’t a great deal of safety for the traveler.