OK, California Housing Market: First-Ever Population Decline Meets Biggest Home Construction Boom since 2008

The state lost 182,000 people in 2020, but added 100,000 homes, for 270,000 people. Los Angeles lost 52,000 people, added 18,000 homes. San Francisco lost 14,800 people, added 4,000 homes.  

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

California’s population didn’t exactly “collapse” or anything, but it declined by 0.46%, or by 182,083 people, in 2020, the “first negative growth rate” since population estimates have been collected, according to the California Department of Finance on Friday. At 39.47 million, California’s population has fallen to the lowest level since 2017, culminating a multi-year trend of declining but positive growth rates.

As we’ll see in a moment, many of the most populous, congested, and expensive coastal counties lost population not only in 2020 but also in prior years, including Los Angeles. The Pandemic merely accelerated the trends. But many less expensive inland counties gained population.

Folks in government are now praying that this decline at the state level was just a one-time thingy, and that population growth will return in 2021, and the Department of Finance said so. The idea is that more people are going to pay more taxes.

But I’m not going to lament this drop in population. I’m in line with many others who are not in love with the congestion, ballooning distortions of the local economy, and housing costs, which are a drag on the local economy because too many people don’t have enough money left over to spend on other things. We have encouraging words for wannabe leavers that keep jabbering about it: “Just Do It.”

And the movement from the coastal cities to the inland cities has already become glaringly apparent in apartment rents, with rents plunging in San Francisco, and dropping sharply in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, while soaring in inland cities such as Sacramento and Fresno.

Southern California.

In Los Angeles County, where over one-quarter of Californians live, the population dropped by 0.9%, the third year in a row of declines (%, columns, right scale), after years of slowing growth. The population had peaked in 2017 at 10.19 million people. In 2020, it dropped by another 91,200 people, to 10.04 million (red line):

In the City of Los Angeles, the population dropped by 52,000 people, to 3.92 million.

San Diego County and Orange County, the next most populous counties in California, also experienced “negative growth rates”; San Diego for the second year in a row, -0.48% in 2020, to 3.32 million people; and Orange for the third year in a row, -0.85% in 2020, to 3.15 million people:

In Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, the population dropped by 0.7% in 2020, the fifth year in a row of declines. Since the peak in 2016, the population has dropped by 1.7%, and at 835,000 is now back at the 2011 level.

A similar trend has played out in Sonoma County in the Bay Area’s Wine Country, as we’ll see in a moment, and could be the result of surging second homes and vacation rentals. While their owners don’t actually live in these housing units, the purchasing activity drives up home prices, which then push out people with lower incomes, and the county’s population declines even as home prices explode higher.

But in the most populous and also less expensive inland counties, Riverside and San Bernardino, the population rose 0.56% and 0.02% respectively in 2020, for a combined increase of 0.3%, to 4.63 million people, continuing the ceaseless upward trend:

San Francisco Bay Area.

San Francisco County’s population (same as the City’s) had soared by over 10% between 2009 and 2019, with growth slowing in 2018 and 2019. But in 2020, it dropped by 1.7%, the largest single-year drop of any of the larger counties, losing 14,800 people, which knocked the population down to 875,010 – the lowest since 2015:

Silicon Valley: Santa Clara County’s population (includes San Jose) fell by 0.6% in 2020, the first year of decline, after having been nearly flat in 2018 and 2019, to 1.934 million. San Mateo County’s population fell by 0.8%, the second year in a row of declines, to 771,000 souls. And combined, a measure for Silicon Valley, the population declined 0.62% to 2.70 million people:

The East Bay counties of Alameda and Contra Costa have for years been the target for San Francisco housing refugees. It can be a mess commuting by car to San Francisco or Silicon Valley, but working from home has largely solved this issue.

Alameda County (includes Oakland and Berkeley) declined by 0.4% in 2020, to 1.659 million people.

But Contra Costa County, which is largely suburban and goes from the Bay deeper inland, rose by 0.4%, to 1.147 million people, maintaining its incessant growth. The population in both counties combined fell by 0.1% in 2020 to 2.81 million:

Sonoma County, part of Wine Country, is turning into a weekend-home and vacation-rental mecca, with fewer people actually living there. Since the peak in 2016, the population has fallen by 3.8%, the most of any of the larger counties. At 484,000 people in 2020, the population is back where it had been in 2009.

Its red-hot housing market, now focused on vacation rentals and weekend party-palaces for San Franciscans, has likely been pushing out lower-income households, thereby reducing the overall population for four years.

And given the horrendous wildfires the county has experienced in recent years, turning the county over to visitors and weekenders may not seems to be such a bad idea:

The inland counties have picked up some of the leavers from the coastal areas. For example, each of the four most populous inland counties north of the Southland – the counties of Sacramento, Fresno, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus – have experienced growth every year. In 2020, they grew between 0.2% (Stanislaus) and 1.2% (San Joaquin). All four counties combined grew by 0.6% in 2020, to 3.93 million people:

Major reasons for the population decline in California.

The Department of Finance laid out two groups of reasons for the decline in population: long-term trends visible in the slowing growth and “plateauing” population in past years; and now the issues related to Covid.

Birthrates have been declining for years, but the current sharp drop in birthrates attributed to the Pandemic was just beginning to show up at the end of 2020.

“Excess deaths”: Covid raised California’s deaths by 19%, or by 51,000 deaths, above the three-year average in 2017-2019.

“Negative net international migration,” with more people going back than arriving, due to the suspension of visa issuance starting in March 2020 and global travel restrictions. This includes a drop of 53,000 international students.

Domestic net out-migration has been the rule for many years, with more people leaving California for other states than coming to California from other states. This trend has accelerated in recent years, and further accelerated in 2020, though the report does not shed light on it.

In past years, positive net international migration more than made up for the negative domestic net migration. This trend includes immigrants that arrive in California and eventually move on to other states. It kept California’s population growing, albeit at slowing rates – until the Pandemic reshuffled the deck.

Biggest construction boom since 2008, despite declining population: So who is buying?

While the state lost 182,083 people in 2020, a net 99,917 housing units of all types were added – 103,073 new housing units, the most since 2008, minus demolition of 3,156 old units, according to the California Department of Finance.

The average housing unit in California is occupied by 2.7 people. So, 100,000 housing units adds room for 270,000 people, even as 182,000 people have left. Think about that for a moment.

The number of housing units rose by 0.7%, to 14.43 million. Of them, 64.3% are single-family houses, 31.8% are multi-family homes, such as rental apartments, condos, and “group quarters,” such as dorms; and 3.9% are mobile homes.

These are the cities with the most growth in housing units in 2020, which are also the cities with the biggest population losses:

City County Growth, housing units % multi-family
Los Angeles Los Angeles 17,851 87%
San Francisco San Francisco 4,048 100%
San Diego Dan Diego 3,897 99%
Oakland Alameda 2,750 100%
Santa Clara Santa Clara 2,066 87%
Irvine Orange 2,062 47%

For example, the City of Los Angeles lost 52,000 people but added 17,851 housing units in 2020.

And San Francisco lost 14,800 people but added 4,048 housing units in 2020. So who is buying or renting all those units?

The apartment market in San Francisco has already reacted to the high vacancy rates and the new units coming on the market, even as people have left the city: rents have plunged by 30%. Condo prices too are down though not that much, but house prices are up. Which brings us back to the theory that homeowners have left, but haven’t put their old and now vacant homes on the market as they’re trying to ride up the home price surge.

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  233 comments for “OK, California Housing Market: First-Ever Population Decline Meets Biggest Home Construction Boom since 2008

  1. C says:

    I’m not sure about population but real estate is insane in the greater Seattle market or PNW for that matter. I’m sensing WFH is playing it’s part in outlying markets with an hours time of Seattle. Where I live outside of the new home strip houses there are only 12 units for sale.

    Great read.


    • shandy says:

      The Seattle area is a bastard case as LA California.
      What was once a utopian fresh start for young energetic people has become a bee hive of corporate thief’s.
      Who continue to sting any young and up and becoming righteous people.
      I pray for the young and the wide eyed who are making a stand against this thieving corrupted pony show.
      I’m a old man and always have your back.
      I lived through this same crime during the late 1970’s and now.

      • Denise says:

        My daughter accepted a new job and moved from Florida as a Financial Analyst after loosing a similar position in the travel industry. I am astounded by the cost of living there. Apartment rentals, gas, eating out and so on. She loves living there and has found a friend to hike with. Of course acquiring equipment takes time and money but I have no idea how she will ever save enough money to buy even a one bedroom condo. She is already thinking of job hopping. Her inbox is now stuffed with job offers but she feels it is imperative that she stays at least one year in her current position. She has been double slammed by two major economic events and she just turned 30. This generation has turned into savers vs spenders as they try to get ahead. At some point this will impact growth.

        • Lolbert says:

          There’s plenty of growth, the trade deficit grows (doubled in 10 years), the gov deficit and debt grow – exponentially so, banana republic printed fed balance grows, and inflation grows with it… it’s only the inflation reports that are pushed way down. There’s no lack of growth, the problem is, it’s where you don’t want to see it.

        • Old school says:

          I have learned if individuals don’t borrow, the government will borrow on your behalf. If students or homeowners borrow too much and can’t pay, it will be brought onto the Fed’ or treasury’s balance sheet at a low rate. Don’t like it, but that’s what it looks like to me.

    • NBay says:

      Yeah, top of the line reading! I just calculated I’ve spent 80% of my life in the Bay Area, mostly Sonoma or Mendocino counties….and at age 74, looks like I’m gonna get to die here.

      And yeah, quit yapping about leaving this “hellhole” and “just do it”. It’s not as great living here as it used to be, but still ok by me.

  2. Trucker guy says:

    Seems like a normal trend in advanced nations. Would like to see how population trends fair when you take off immigration and statistical anomalies like covid deaths. Of course people are probably leaving California for other states for political, tax, or climate reasons. Wonder how long before the us is at a net negative population growth overall inclusive of immigration. Not that I care much, I don’t care or crowds and fighting for resources such as overpriced housing

    • RepubAnon says:

      Economists treat resources as unlimited/ that’s Ponzi Scheme thinking. Reality is the law of conservation of mass/energy – there’s a finite amount of matter/energy in the universe, so growth forever conflicts with the physical laws of the universe. We’re running up against those limits now.

      If you can show me a perpetual motion machine, I’ll change my mind.

      • William Rogers says:

        OK, there is no doubt supply is a contributing factor in many places. But as the article said, that shouldn’t be the case in California, given the exodus. There is speculation in the air all over, the stock market, cryptos, and even the most ridiculous new vehicle, NFTs. When supply goes up and so do prices, it’s not a commodity. Simple as that. This fits with the rest of the market euphoria going on right now. My co-workers jumped into the stock market and literally told me it was because they were afraid of missing out. Houses are being sold left and right for cash by outstate purchasers (likely from investment funds). Sometimes sellers will only accept CASH! Wtf is this?! It’s pretty obvious, heaps of people are in denial.

      • NBay says:

        Well said Rep…..a total ponzi growth forever scheme.

        So why not get a massive green new industry/conservation/re-education program going?

        Any better ideas?…our economic system demands money be spent, anyway…..unless you prefer black market and barter……

    • Petunia says:

      Some of the financial guys I follow out of California have left to go to Florida, Texas, or Puerto Rico. They all cite taxes and lefty politics as the reasons. All have also kept their CA homes hoping to return in saner times.

      CA is turning its high earning residents into investors, destroying their tax base.

      • Tim says:

        Not true. I just read an analysis of who is coming into CA and who is leaving. Low to middle income people are leaving and higher income workers are moving in. Also, CA had a $15 billion budget surplus in a pandemic year which was very surprising given that CA was disproportionately impacted due Covid’s impact on tourism and the film industry.

        One of the reasons that California did so well from a budget standpoint is it’s progressive tax structure. The rising stock market and the ability of many to be able to WFH combined with higher tax rates for higher earners helped salvage what at one time was expected to be a huge budget deficit.

        • Petunia says:

          CA taxes are already ridiculous and going up. The rich are bailing out, going all the way to Puerto Rico, if they own businesses that can be run from there.

          If the new proposed federal taxes go into effect, both CA and NY will empty out, because the cost of living is already too high in both those states.

        • Old school says:

          California will be one of the first states to bite the dust if financial asset bubble pops. Let Fed get forced into raising rates to 3% and see what happens.

        • The surging stock market was 100% the reason, but when that bubble bursts, the revenues will dry up real fast and I can guarantee that the politicians will not save that extra money for a rainy day.

          The high P/E stocks are already falling and we have not even got into June. June is when alot of problems hit, as the government will need to start selling bonds again. Foreign investors are not buying and soon domestic investors will realize that the 30 year bond bubble is bursting – and then the real fun starts.

      • NBay says:

        I wish when they all “came back” all their big homes had long since been turned into duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, etc, for people who are less extravagant and just love living here, the lifestyle and the land.

  3. SocalJim says:

    The reason is obvious. A lot of people did not answer the census. Before Trump, many people in the country illegally filled in the census. That mostly stopped under the Trump administration. This is a non story.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Trouble living with the facts?

      This data here has NOTHING to do with the Census or Trump. The Department of Finance does its own estimates based on various methods, such as DL records and a million other data points. This is NOT a census but based on data that the state, counties, and cities have on hand. The methodology is here:


      • SocalJim says:

        Odds are the guys doing this estimate take a look at the census numbers to smell check on their estimate. Furthermore, any statistical method as complicated as theirs has a large standard error that only grew larger with COVID.

        In coastal OC and LA counties, vacant rentals are far and few between, and home are red hot. This datapoint directly contradicts the concept that the population is declining.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          These estimates are annual with mid-year revisions. Census is taken every 10 years.

        • Mira says:

          I looked .. 10 Perfect beach towns ..
          Dana Point
          Santa Cruz
          Santa Barbara
          Monterey & Carmel
          Santa Monica
          Venice Beach
          Huntington Beach
          La Jolla
          Santa Catalina
          These locations are to die for.

        • Petunia says:

          The census caused CA to lose 2 congressional seats to other states and the governor and attorney general are not disputing the population decline. And the census counts your presence as of a specific date, not the entire year or decade.

        • Tim says:


          Correction. CA lost 1 congressional seat and Wolf’s point is that population flows are measured every year and don’t rely on the census.

        • Artem says:

          The reason is obvious. SocalJim wishes he were part of the SoCal exodus and is very worreid about his leveraged stake in SoCal real estate.

          To be fair, California immigration/population/real estate is known to be somewhat volatile and one year does not a trend make.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          In LA, it’s been three years.

        • J Bank says:

          Also, CA has large population growth due to immigration… more than most states. The prior administration made immigration growth more difficult, and COVID was the final nail… that’s what Wolf’s chart shows me. Biden’s policies seem to roll it back a little, not a lot, but the tone has shifted dramatically.

          Anecdotally, RIGHT NOW, home prices are surging @ 2% per month in desirable SoCal areas, rents are rising at a 5-6% clip per year (inflation probably has a hand in this one), and renters are competing for places to live. This does not happen when populations are declining… I think last year was a blip, personally.

          On top of that, speaking to the San Diego market specifically, employer growth is absolutely booming. There are more jobs than ever, a lot of them paying extremely well. Office space is being converted to lab space (basically open box concept) and renting out at upwards of $5/ft… and office space SHOULD be getting decimated right now!

          I don’t buy the population decline as a long term trend. I think we’ve seen the last of it for a while.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          J Bank,

          “… SoCal areas, rents are rising at a 5-6% clip per year…”

          Haven’t in a while. Down 15% in LA, for example:

        • NBay says:

          Mira, I don’t know where you got that “stupid silly list” but it left out Gualala and Manchester, and even Pfeiffer Big Sur, just to name a few.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Dammit, NBay-right as you are, no need to spread that around!

          may we all find a better day.

      • Depth Charge says:

        Jim likes to make up “facts” to support a “shortage” myth that the National Association of Liars – I mean REALTORS – perpetuate.

        • Thomas Roberts says:

          It’s merely the natural order of things that realtors would always suggest that now, is the best time to buy.

          Realtors aren’t really a source of any problems, far more problems are caused by government officials, who don’t allow apartment buildings in nice areas. People living in well located nicer apartment buildings, would lead to less congestion and pollution; it would cause many other benefits as well, but, this wouldn’t be in the best interests of city officials. This problem is also caused by homeowners, who want the value of their house to rise.

        • Swamp Creature says:

          Yep, These people in the NAR lie so much that they believe their own lies.

        • NBay says:

          I get the feeling Jim’s not the only one trying to spin this data, and for similar reasons. Maybe not actual realtors, but landlords of some kind, and in the same boat he likely is.

      • MCH says:

        How many new projects will get started I wonder.

        Granted, it is only a part of the cost, I have heard steel prices increase at an even higher rate, was wondering how true that is, and also makes me wonder how much one should trust new constructions right now. After all, a skilled contractor is a large expense, especially given the current labor shortage, how much new housing stock might be built to The same standards we saw in China half a decade ago.

        • Mira says:

          How can there be massive unemployment & labour shortages ??
          Workers are not skilled .. surely not .. it’s just an excuse ??
          If it’s true then train them up .. the money is good .. masses of people are looking for work .. what is the problem here.

        • Johnny Ro says:

          China Bashing.

          MCH, visit the Peabody Essex museum in Massachusetts to see a kit built multifamily compound that is a couple centuries old, transplanted and reassembled. Perfectly suited to life in the region sourced from. The local gov was good with it as they are being replaced with actual modern city stuff. And the museum was knowledgeable and polite. They focus heavily on the China trade there.

          Would be quite expensive if freshly constructed. The separate family quarters are small.

          In my opinion, China bashing is wrong.

          No offense intended, I will buy you a ticket to the museum if you go there. And lunch.

      • tfourier says:

        Those decline numbers are based on difference on the annual estimate. Not a decline on a hard number. You need the full census report for real data diving. And even then..

        Not sure how things work in other places but in the four censuses in SF I have personal experience of the actual decennial census number was always lower than the previous years estimate. In 1990 the decline was blamed on Loma Prieta. In 2000 on the Dot Com Bust. etc etc.

        Watching the yearly population estimates for SF they seem to be mainly based on a linear interpolation on housing unit count. I remember during the 1990’s the yearly estimate barely budged for years because no units were added even though the increase in the City population was very easy to see day to day. It was only in the late 1990s’ when new units started being added again that the census bureau estimate started catching up with reality. The population decline after 2008 was very noticeable but not really reflected in the annual population estimate.

        So like all statistics look at the likely Confidence Interval. For SF population at least its not less than 5 and probably closer to 10 some years. Because all those room shares and inlaws can add and shed resident very quickly and never show up in any official numbers.

        So all you can really say is trending up or trending down. The magnitude of the trend is always debatable. Given the nature of the numbers.

        As for real estate. At least in the part of the City I know best during non bubble times maybe 20%/30% of the houses for sale are flippers. The rest are legitimate sales. At the moment at least 80% of the houses for sale look like flippers. Really horrible quick and nasty refurbs where all charm has been removed from the property and the interior now looks like a cheap copy of a tasteless East Bay / South Bay McMansion.

        And for this you are supposed to pay a 50% / 100% premium. Then in five years time the refurb “improvements” will start falling apart and in ten years time will look decrepit. I know people who bought houses like this in the past thinking it was a “good deal”. It never was.

        Roll on the next Big One. And put us all out of our misery. Like last time. In the late ’80’s.

      • C says:


        I have avoided the vicinity of San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle for well over a decade now in favor of more scenic destinations with more campers and fewer encampments.

        Certainly, official data suggests a decline in household-like populations.

        I followed the link. Who counts the homeless and the transients and how are they counted?

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Every year, they have homeless counts, where lots of counters go out to all the known hangouts and camps over a period of a few hours on one designated day/night and they count. It’s quite a procedure. It has to be done on one day to avoid double counting.

    • timbers says:

      How does one “illegally” fill in census? The goal of the census is simply to count everyone. Period.

      I for one am an outliner, because I fit the profile that is more likely to “fill in the census but did because I’m just so disgusted at our broken dis-functional government and institutions that have been so corrupted by the rich and credentialed professional class and the rich, that rich and the rich.

      Did I mention the rich?

      • Mira says:

        I don’t know that it is the rich every time .. the opportunists / can do
        wise guys looking for an angle get a big look-in also.

        • NBay says:

          You mean the “all the temporarily embarrassed millionaires”, as Mark Twain put it?

    • Phoenix_Ikki says:

      Every popular site needs a good amount of trolls, you sir have served your purpose quite well. If I am to be nitpicky though, you forgot to mention the housing supply will always be low, don’t forget that NAR talking point, population growth headed to the other direction, still more demand than supply…how dare you forget that?

      • SnotFroth says:

        He’s not a troll and I for one appreciate the perspective. Lots of sour grapes around here because he apparently made money in real estate.

      • Mira says:

        Yes .. you are right there is always a/the demand .. but where is it coming from ??
        I can only speak for Australia .. we have empty dwellings from one side of this nation to another & homeless person also .. not for profit charities are given prime real estate & millions of dollars to build & house the homeless .. in the face of a mass of empty dwellings which also consist of public housing.
        The Australian coffers are bleeding out .. property investment is booming & still there is not enough housing.

        • Mira says:

          There are those who failed Mathematics in primary school among us.

        • John says:

          Are these homes empty perhaps because there are tens of thousands of Australians still stuck abroad?

        • Petunia says:


          I heard banks in Australia were giving their mortgage holders vouchers for food banks, so they would have more money to pay the mortgage, and be less likely to default. I heard this last year.

    • MonkeyBusiness says:

      I heard SocalJim was at our Southern border yesterday. He was seen literally herding CARAVANs of people through. Mexicans, Chinese, anyone necessary to keep the RE market at stratospheric levels.

      This is why he is my personal realtor!!!

  4. Jdog says:

    Hey the weather is nice in CA, but that is absolutely the only thing it has going for it.
    Every other standard by which you rate livability makes CA a poor choice.
    The two things killing CA is oppressive government, and really bad overcrowding.
    CA state bureaucracy is nothing short of tyranny, and the overcrowding makes everyone who lives there exist in a constant state of desperation, trying in vain to beat the crowd.
    Unfortunately, the downward spiral now has so much momentum behind it, I do not think it can be stopped.
    This is really bad news for those of us who moved somewhere else to escape it, because as people flee, they bring with them all the bad habits and assholyness you left to get away from….

    • Xavier Caveat says:

      The icky big cities in Cali that have nothing going for them in terms of weather are doing just fine, go figure.

    • GotCollateral says:

      Yup, the downward trend in growth even in the plots above has been in place for over a decade…

      The new houses being built into this is just negative divergence which can continue for a while (same phenomenon with less students going to college in the US for a decade, with higher and higher student debt divergence…)

      Yearly-excess-deaths-of-only-19%-increase-pandemic just another straw on the camels back…

    • Mira says:

      I don’t know .. I quickly had a look at some pic’s .. Down town California
      Berkley .. Sausalito .. LA
      It doesn’t look so bad.

    • Paulo says:

      My nephew relocated from Seattle to Novato 10-12 years ago and absolutely loves the area. The family are biking nuts, they run a small boat on some resevoir when it gets really hot, and state all the time they cannot see themselves living anywhere else. I think they are lifers from what I can see?

      Other than this last year of Covid, apparently their greatest concern is the drought and continual threat of wildfires….as it should be.

    • NBay says:

      Gee, it sure would have been fun to send you a pic from the last time we were on top of half-dome, along with a Bernie sticker, just to help you make a part of your point. But I will never go as far as fleeing to wherever it is you live, you are VERY safe from that, honest.

  5. Art Vandalay says:

    These are the fruits of a state that is HEAVILY influenced by public employee unions.

  6. KGC says:

    California still has more people than the entire country of Canada. Of course Canada has very restrictive immigration laws, and enforces them.

    • 2banana says:

      And you need a government ID to vote.

      • MCH says:

        Those r***** bastards, major companies and organizations should be boycotting that country so they can change their ways.

        May be that’s why the same people keep saying they want to move to Canada, cause they can’t actually get in.

      • timbers says:

        In Brazil, if you were born, you MUST vote and if don’t, the government fines you.

        Weather you have a “govmit ID” or not.

        ID voting didn’t stop some rich dude creating an “app” the DNC bought to fraudulate the vote in Iowa against the actual winner…and the declared winner just happened to be the candidate the rich dude was supporting yet oddly (or not) no one had heard of him until he “won” according to the app owned by the rich dude.

        How would “voter ID” have solved that?

        • Yancey Ward says:

          Well, the US can top this- you must vote or they will come dig you up out of your grade to cast your vote.

        • Yancey Ward says:

          I really need to proofread before histing post. That should be grave, not grade.

        • Jdog says:

          At this point in time, voting simply legitimizes a government you have no say in. It is no different than the democracy in a 3rd world country where the dictator gets 95% of the vote..
          Every single politician is owned by the corporate élite and do what their masters tell them to do. You are given a choice between their man 1, or their man 2, but either way they are still working for the corporations.
          Your vote simply gives the process legitimacy and tells the world you are satisfied with a system in which self determination is an illusion, and our system is the definition of hypocrisy.

        • NBay says:

          All you dedicated CA haters should at least rent an air-bnb here for short while, so you can describe in more detail why you “left in disgust” to the folks back home…would add more realistic “juice” to your stories, I betcha.
          I’ve driven to or through most all states, and they all have something worth seeing.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          NBay-seems to me that so much of this CA-bashing has the air of the resentment from a jilted lover. Guess its more satisfying to throw rocks at another than to actually detail the charms of one’s own heaven on earth (but wait! My throwing a rock at you means i just want you to disappear, not come here thinking that the grass might actually be greener where i’m posting from!)…

          may we all find a better day.

        • NBay says:

          Hilton Head Island and Anchor Bay SC are quite nice little coastal beach towns also not on Mira’s list, where I have spent time in non-CA states. (Couldn’t resist) ;) Beach Mountain is a VERY nice Southern town, too…..although no beach.

    • Kurtismayfield says:

      And Canada’s real estate prices are higher.

  7. 2banana says:

    But, yet, are all for basically open borders.

    Like these folks don’t drive or live in housed/apartments too.

    “We have encouraging words for wannabe leavers that keep jabbering about it: “Just Do It.”

  8. Cobalt Programmer says:

    No body lives in stocks or crytocoins. They are an vehicle of investment. So are houses. People can and do live in houses but not necessarily. Lot of people own second homes. Soon, it will be three or even four homes. They will be like artwork traded once in a decade to those who can only afford them. As housing prices cannot go lower, they only will increase more and more. The house buying mania will propel more housing boom. Yes house prices came down during GFC. That time interest rates went up by 5%. Now we got low interest rates, bailouts and other protections to keep the house prices up. Regarding population, housing prices also went up in those states with a stable lower population. Again not population but investment potential is what keep the allure of housing going on. Some person or company will buy houses as a means of investment.

    • 2banana says:

      Bring interest rates back up to a historical normal of 6% and have banks eat their bad loans.

      The prices will drop yugely.

      “As housing prices cannot go lower…”

    • C says:

      This…….I’m guess most of the people re-locating from Seattle to my neck of the woods haven’t sold or will not sell their home in the burbs. It’s a cash machine at this point. It’s also driving the prices insanely high in my area with nothing but cash buyers willing to wave all contingencies. I would have cried bubble 10 years ago but today I’m afraid we’re just getting started.


    • Depth Charge says:

      I know we’ve about hit the peak when I read nonsense like this.

      • Phoenix_Ikki says:

        NAR internal search engine must be working overtime. Gotta be busy stemming out any articles using data to debunk their housing will forever go up MSM narrative.

    • Engin-ear says:


      The housing has many *different* usages.

      You may
      1) live inside
      2) buy to rent
      3) flip (small investors) = low liquidity.
      4) translate it into asset backeds securities (big investors) = high liquidity.

      Whatever the usage is, the return on investment is LOW, but there is an interesting quality: there is a real collateral which is very good for the peace of mind.

      Now, in the chase of return, when the housing transactions become risky overleveraged gambling, the word “house” is replaced by the term “risky bet” detached from the real life considerations.

  9. Tom Stone says:

    Wolf nails it when he mentions Vacation and second homes ( And the resulting shortage of long term rentals) as a factor in Sonoma County’s population decline.
    Not only did VRBO drive up home prices by @ 25% they took thousands of long term rentals off the market.
    We had a housing shortage before the Tubbs fire which destroyed more than 5,000 homes, with thousands more lost to fires since and more yet to come.
    The Sonoma County Economy was described as an “Hourglass Economy when I moved here 15 years ago and it has since gotten worse.
    Lots of low income people who can’t afford to live here, and more and more of what used to be the middle class priced out of the housing market
    $15 an hour isn’t a bad wage here, and a room in a house will run $1K plus utilities or more.
    Yes, people are leaving.

  10. Socal Rhino says:

    I saw a survey that showed a significant income difference between people moving into CA and those leaving. No idea on the quality of the methodology but it makes sense to me intuitively. There are lots of reasons to like or dislike it here (I like it on balance) but every person I know personally who has left (not counting job promotions) did it for reasons of cost, not politics. Politics was a factor in their choice of destination.

    • Depth Charge says:

      “Drive until you qualify” is nothing new. We saw it last housing bubble, too. People never learn.

      I saw a comment the other day on a site from a person who had left CA and was in NV buying a $600k house. I asked him what kind of job he landed in NV that supported that house price and the answer was NONE.

      • NBay says:

        Gee….sounds like we are back to his fault or the bank’s fault stuff….or the “site’s”?…maybe even the anecdoter’s?

    • Whatsthepoint says:

      I personally know of 4 families that relocated out of California to ‘red’ states in 2020 very much for political reasons…..cost was an added incentive.

  11. David G (not) LA says:

    it would be very interesting to get a list of the 182,000. At first I also thought it was the 2020 census, but Wolf has cited the source. So… just spitballing here …

    Given – people have left for Nevada, Texas, Idaho – for various reasons we’ve all read about and commented on (taxes, regulations, cost of living, crowds, home prices).

    I wonder – what part of the numbers number can be attributed to H1 visas expiring or not getting renewed due to WFH. colleges closing down and out of state and out of country students not showing up. a slow down on legal and illegal immigration.

    I’m one of the numbers in the charts – I moved out of LA (yeah!) to Palm Springs. I still have to change my handle.

  12. Old school says:

    Don’t bet all on houses and stocks continuing to climb. That is one outcome, but not necessarily the only one. Future as always hasn’t been written. Got to have a plan to not get wiped out under nearly all possibilities.

    My thinking is a lot of people who aren’t really that smart have been rewarded for taking too much risk. Usually that strategy gets rewarded with a total loss when a hiccup occurs in finance system.

    My no brained is SP500 dividend yield down to 1.37%. Could have bought in 2009 with dividend 3.6%. Dividends are the real income that’s not hot air.

    • C says:

      Old school,

      No doubt….I’ve been saying new world for a while now. I’m a convert……check out some crypto resource like “compound” where you can post your crypto and receive yield in return. 6% average. I know “Crypto” but it’s a new world! We have to start thinking like the younger generation because their not looking at the yield on the S&P dividends.

      Crypto runs and wains but it’s going to take over the investment landscape and influence many. Housing has been a trade and not an investment for 10 years. Imagine 3 or 5 years from now when some young kids are Crypto millionaire types and have the intellectual know how allowing them to leverage Crypto collateral at will. It’s a new world and this current 4 week run on Crypto is just part of the cycle.

      It will drop hard again and pump a month later but global decentralized instantaneous and dirt cheep settlement is upon us. I’m not suggesting anyone go head first and dive in but if you’re not getting educated today this is going to dust you in 10 years.

      Agreeing with your assessment that you need to have a plan. I’m out for the night and thankful for this community. You have made my life better the past year that I have been reading.

      • ej says:

        nice words and wiser then most

      • Lisa says:

        I don’t understand crypto and how it works. Too confusing

        • Depth Charge says:

          You’ve heard of a roulette wheel, right? Same principle, just more colors than black, red and green.

        • GotCollateral says:

          Most people dont understand how the eurodollar system works today either…

          Most people wont really understand the in and outs of crypto anytime soon, but lots of platforms will continue to use it in the background for payments infrastructure… more corps will use it for their derivatives contracts/ debt issuance… etc.

        • YuShan says:


          “but lots of platforms will continue to use it in the background for payments infrastructure”

          Yes, but that won’t be the crypto that are being hyped right now. Bitcoin and Ethereum are outdated technology. And Dogecoin was never intended to be serious anyway. Transactions are way too expensive, way too slow, don’t scale very well and are have a large carbon footprint too.

          Blockchain technology is here to stay. But the current top dog of crypto, Bitcoin, is utterly useless for anything. When I hear about “institutions” moving into it, I really wonder what the agenda is with these stories.

          I’m very happy with the emergence of blockchain technologies though, because they have enabled re-monetisation of gold and silver, so they can once again be used as real money again. Especially the developing world will be a beneficiary of this.

        • GotCollateral says:


          I really don’t care about hype, I just really look at flows and instruments (i.e. tradfi investment banks issuing bonds on chain)… ETH will outperform vs BTC even though its outdated both are outdated, ETH still has the biggest mind share and ecosystem around, and as far as I’m concerned, pretty much all the ETH l2’s are garbage because of the decentralization/security tradeoffs. Avalanche is pretty much the only solidity comparable evm that actually has innovation on the consensus layer to scale tx’s to that around VISA (1500 TPS on c-chain), and can still implement some of the better ETH l2’s.

          Also, I remember you saying that Indonesia has banned crypto, but as someone living here, that could be further from the truth on the ground seeing retail jump into binance/etc and ditch some of the retail exchanges. Gov cant even enforce covid restrictions and gave up pretty much lol Gov’s can make all the diktats they want, only the reality of what they can actually enforce does anything.

          PM’s themselves wont be used as money, maybe as collateral, and still wont stop them from being leveraged and rehypothicated… on chain (esp if protocols dont have contracts that enforce that) or off chain…

          I really see CME/CBOE/etc loosing out to crypto in the long run for derivatives, esp when decentralized uncollateralized market driven stable coins truely emerge and on chain notionals are limited by fiat/crypto over collateralize stables.

          I don’t expect retail to get any of ^^^^^^, just like idgaf about the latest benie baby coins…

        • YuShan says:


          It is very easy for a government to ban crypto use. They can make it illegal for retail to accept it and prosecute a few of them if they do. Then it’s just not worth it for merchants and the result is that crypto won’t buy you much in the real world, except in goods that are already illegal, which will make anybody using it a suspect (you don’t want that). The reason I mentioned the Indonesia case it that I found it remarkable that their government endorses a private parallel currency (gold) now while at the same time legally banning crypto (whether that is enforceable or not).

          I think the digital currencies that will actually be used in trade will be stablecoins in some form. You can already see that by the fact that USDT despite its flaws is hands down the most successful crypto in terms of the amount of actual transactions / monetary velocity.

          But a stablecoin anchored to a flawed fiat currency (USD, euro etc) is eventually going to lose out to a stablecoin anchored to something that cannot be created at will. And the obvious choice for such an anchor is gold.

          The other reason I think that digitalised gold is the future is because central banks own a large chunk of the world’s gold reserves, so imo it is the ONLY alternative currency that doesn’t cut them out. Once the current fiat system goes to sh!t, they can use their own gold reserves to be back in the game. It’s actually in their interest now to have a higher gold price and gold backed digital currencies support that.

        • GotCollateral says:


          > It is very easy for a government to ban crypto use.
          > (whether that is enforceable or not).

          … next …

          > And the obvious choice for such an anchor is gold.

          You are ignoring how gold, RIGHT NOW, is a rehypothicated asset like UST, stocks, corp trash, GILTS, JGB’s etc… doesn’t matter if there’s only a finite amount if banks/contracts ledgers allow it to be lent recursively… and that’s not even digging into custodial issues and quality…

          It’s just another HQLA, nothing more, nothing less.

          > … central banks own a large chunk of the world’s gold reserves …

          Central banks are completely reliant upon commercial banks for d2d (dealer to dealer), d2e (dealer to exchanges), b2b (bank/biz to biz) and b2c (bank/biz to consumer)… without commercial banks they’d be DOA… and their related CBDC are Fonzie Shark jump joke…

        • YuShan says:


          Learn the difference between allocated and unallocated gold. Most alleged gold products are unallocated and can therefore be lend out, re-hypothecated etc. You don’t want those! It’s just a paper game. There can be many claims on the same gold.

          But you can also own allocated gold, i.e. unencumbered in your own name. That is the type I’m referring to. Kinesis KAU digital currency is fully allocated. So is gold stored at Bullionvault. You own the metals outright. It cannot be lend out. It appears on no other balance sheet than your own.

          By marrying allocated bullion and blockchain, you can now instantly transfer that direct gold ownership to somebody else, making it genuine money again that you can use for transactions. It’s just like old physical gold coins again, just digitalised. It is real actual gold that you are transacting because you are directly transferring title to actual metal.

          You are right that how much gold central banks/ gov actually own is unclear (Fort Knox was last audited in 1974!). That’s why many countries (Germany, Netherlands, etc) have been moving the gold that they stored in the US back to their own vaults again in the past decade. In the last decade, central banks have become net buyers of physical gold again for a reason.

        • GotCollateral says:


          > Kinesis KAU digital currency is fully allocated. So is gold stored at Bullionvault.

          From their site: “The Kinesis digital currencies (KAG and KAU,) have been designed for use in the real world, by everyday people. Fully redeemable for underlying physical bullion 100% title ownership ensuring no counterparty risk No storage fees incurred for storing bullion in our vaults…”

          >>>> “…our vaults…”

          Not in your own physical vault with your own protection…

          Not in your own crypto wallet where only you have the private keys…

        • Old school says:

          Crypto isn’t investing so I just pass. Investing is being able estimate the future income and then pricing that.

          Used to be a term called earning power which is what we today call earnings yield. I think people are mislead because Fed has blown up asset price, but earnings stream not so much.

        • YuShan says:


          Kinesis cannot get your gold without your private keys. When you lose your keys, they cannot recover it, as they have no title to it.

          But I get the point that with a digital currency that is backed by something, you always need somebody to store it.

          So for that reason you rather have something backed by nothing? The problem with that is that it is simply fiat currency, as you can create unlimited amounts of nothing. Yes, Bitcoin is limited in number. So now there are thousands of other cryptos that are also backed by nothing, eating away the market share of BTC. In 2009, the crypto space was 100% BTC. Now their share is 40% and falling. Not many people care at the moment because the entire space has expanded, but it disproves the idea that the amount is limited, because apparently there is nothing stopping people from moving to something else. You could therefore argue that the crypto monetary base has expanded massively. There is an unlimited amount of nothing available to back millions of coins. There are going to be many empty bag holders. I think we already agreed that BTC and ETH are outdated technology. I expect them to slowly bleed to death over the coming years because it is so easy to move to superior alternatives.

          Compare that with a redeemable token that represents allocated gold. Even if there are new tokens, there can never be more than there is gold. Some tokens will go out of use but in that case a holder can simply redeem them and move to the more popular one. But yes, there are vaults involved and physical delivery. But that is as old as history, so I find it funny that people always question that aspect of it.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          @YuShan – I understand your fervor for cryptos. Notably Kinesis. However, there is an old saying, “Possession is nine tenths of the law.” What actually happens with Kinesis holdings may very well end up with the lawyers.

      • Heinz says:

        “Imagine 3 or 5 years from now when some young kids are Crypto millionaire types and have the intellectual know how allowing them to leverage Crypto collateral at will. It’s a new world and this current 4 week run on Crypto is just part of the cycle.”

        Pie-in-the-sky comments like above about cryptocurrencies make me cringe.

        • C says:

          You’re just not getting it than! You will eventually, cause it’s coming at you like a freight train. Crypto is not a fad it’s actually a libertarian end run around centrally planned economics. I’m always confused on blogs where people talk day and night about poor Fed Policy, escalations in price, out of control government spending and/or a nanny state and then fail to see what DeFI actually is doing.

          I’ll say it again it’s a new world and the way people think of money is a changing.


        • Depth Charge says:

          It’s quite the imagination alright. There must be some illicit substances to enhance the thought process.

        • Anthony A. says:

          My landscaping guy was here this morning to give me a price on a small tree removal and some dirt work. Once we agreed on the price, I asked him if he would take payment in Bitcoin. He said he wanted U.S. currency as he could put that in his pants pocket.

      • nick kelly says:

        I can’t tell if the guy is being sarcastic. If not, he has a very high opinion of today’s education system.

  13. Frank says:

    A recent report just released, shows that residents of California with less than a bachelors degree have been leaving in droves. This is from 2010 to 2019. While people with a bachelors degree and higher have been net immigrants.

    • cas127 says:

      Funny, but both the educated and uneducated occupy housing and so it is their relative numbers (not their degree status) that affects the demand for housing…

      …and how educated are “educated” people if they significantly overpay for housing? Only made possible because the Fed massively (and ultimately, transiently) interferes in setting of interest rates?

    • whatever says:

      Just got back from a trip from home in CA to Texas. While there met bartender who just moved there from LA, said after the second CA lockdown in November her sister said Texas is open, move here. She did, got multiple job offers, hasn’t looked back.

      I visited five TX cities in ten days. The growth and building is absolutely crazy. Houses in all the big cities go in days with multiple offers. People were partying elbow to elbow in packed bars. Went to country club with over a hundred people in close quarters and a “regular” self-serve buffet with Mexican food on Cinco, like COVID never existed. In regular public restaurants the basic deal is customers ignore masks, workers on duty wear them for now in big cities, everyone maskless outside the big cities.

      Meanwhile coastal California is still cowering in fear. Whole school districts are still closed in counties that have effectively no transmission, with death rates below car accidents. And the CA teachers union is still pushing back on going back to classes, even in the fall.

      The per capita economy of Texas surpassed CA some time ago, and my impression after the visit was that it’s just a matter of time before Texas surpasses CA in absolute GDP because of the difference in culture between the two states. CA will be the land of the very rich and very poor, while people who want to work will go to Texas.

      • Wolf Richter says:


        Good lordy. So I’ll just straighten you out on one of your BS morsels: “The per capita economy of Texas surpassed CA some time ago”

        Per Capita GDP is 15% higher in California than in Texas:

        California: $70,662
        Texas: $61,682

        That said, I agree with you, California is too crowded and too expensive, and people here need to move to Texas. Plus, it’s nice and warm in Texas during the summer. “Just do it.”

        • Turtle says:

          It’s too bad the cost of living in CA isn’t just 15% higher than in TX. Young middle class families have a tremendously crappy standard of living today in CA. Not so in Texas. It’s nice that whatever got out and looked around because some people still think California is the land of opportunity.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          Plus it’s not humid enough in CA. In Texas you can work up a sweat by just sitting and breathing.

        • Turtle says:

          You know what’s a raw deal is paying $750K to live just a bit east of LA where that blazing hot, bone-dry, brown-orange air cracks your lips and bleeds your nose. I visited Azusa/Glendora for two weeks. Give me Texas any day over that middle class CA life.

          Now, if I had a bottomless barrel of gold, I’d surely ditch TX for one of those rich enclaves right near the ocean where the air is clean and Airbnb’s have a 30 day minimum. That’s the only way California makes sense these days.

          “CA will be the land of the very rich and very poor, while people who want to work will go to Texas.”

          whatever is right about this.

  14. Mendocino Coast says:

    We Don’t see that Here on the Mendocino Coast perhaps they are moving here ? seems like it
    Parking spots has decreased when in town . Saving grace ( hope it never changes ) is No Freeways to the Coast . Most places not in town are on at least 1 Acre or more so is hard to find Homes . Seems like people are moving in not out but I don’t know where to find the actual numbers :

    Prices have shot up that’s for sure now if we can get the interest rate back up I am all for that tired of backwards and free Money

    • NBay says:

      What’s “town”? I went all through HS up there. Really curious.

      All the skid roads, trails we used to walk and shoot everything on, ride dirt bikes, are roads on map now, with houses. Still have a lot of friends there, they all got wealthy growing dope, selling those 1 acre + home parcels to you richer folks, or have construction related biz, or stores. The rest followed the timber to OR and on up to BC.

  15. WES says:

    Sadly, I will never be able to afford to live in California.

  16. David Hall says:

    COVID was the leading cause of death in the U.S. during part of 2020. Slight population growth slowdown in some places.

    One CEO asked employees to return to the office, then the employees went on strike. A teacher told me junior high school students given remote schooling homework refused to do any homework, as if the situation was worse than usual.

    Mortgage forbearance may be extended by filing for an extension.

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      What comes around, goes around. Expecting MANY to get a kick in the a$$ the next time around.

  17. Rosebud says:

    Overheard on a blue day

    ‘Y’know, I have a love for animals. Cats dogs horses rabbits.. I need that huge house for my pets. Live in your vehicle, see if I care’

    Overheard on a red day

    ‘Y know corporeal, there are men living on the street, they’re intuition is like my hunting dog, could it be … the harsh conditions?’

  18. IslandTeal says:

    Good article, good comments. Someone stated that home prices will not decline. Wait awhile. As the WFH business model plays out and salaries are geographically adjusted we will see.

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      And as more of those WFH jobs are outsourced, the real geographical adjustments will begin. Just as people WFH to minimize job related incidental costs/expenses, so will the companies.

    • Paulo says:


      You bet, just wait awhile. I’ve lived through 3 housing busts. Why would anyone think it can never happen again?

      Mantra: Don’t carry debt, and you’ll be fine. Some debt boosters will find out the hard way those calls and thin letter envelopes from their bank will totally ruin their day.

      When times are fat one day they will decline, and hard times don’t last forever. None of that matters if you live within/below your means.

      My buddy was looking at a new camper the other day for his PU. Asked me what I thought it would cost? I said 35K. Wrong, it was 65K. I suggested he wait and buy used in the fall. He agreed.

      It’s crazy out there.

  19. Sir Eduard R. Dingleberry III says:

    How come all the worst places to live are the most expensive?

  20. Nathan Dumbrowski says:

    Know two families in 2020 that up rooted from Ventura County CA and moved to Harris County TX. Left extended family behind and didn’t have jobs there at the time. They were just tired of barely being able to make ends meet year after year. Homes purchased in 2020 that were still under construction. They are both starting over and are selected Texas

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      After traveling extensively throughout the USA, I have found many incredible places of opportunity. I think most people do not do their due diligence, and just run to so called ‘lands of dreams’. Just like secondary education, get out and expand your horizon(s), before making such life demanding decisions.

  21. FinePrintGuy says:

    It’s not always about the money. It can be about your sanity. The progressive politics is inescapable, insufferable and gotten worse since Biden was installed. Your big employer constantly push gender identity politics, your child comes home armed with critical race theory lectures, your friends and neighbors recite CNN talking points. You’d better not say you’d like a fully funded police department. There are only two things Californians talk about: Home prices and progressive politics.

    Now is the time to make a seamless move. Work from anywhere still goes on. Maybe you’re unemployed anyways and know employers are booming elsewhere. You’ve got a ton of home equity. Can the gods do anything else to make it easier?

    The people who are 100% committed to staying here will bid up home prices to the moon because anywhere else is anathema to them. The others who see their opportunity to leave will take it. This will go on for years.

    • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

      Of course!! The word PROGRESS(ive) is terrible!

      It sounds like you exist on a steady diet of Faux “news”.

      I hate to break this to you, but you can thank Progressives for a lot of the best things in our society.
      Who wanted the kids out of the coalmines?
      Who wanted to free the slaves?
      Who wanted women to vote?
      Who wanted Civil rights for everybody?
      Who wanted an 8 hr work day?
      Who wanted health insurance?
      Who wanted social security (to cut elderly poverty in half!)?
      Who wanted a ramp for the kid in the wheelchair?
      Who wanted weekends off of work?
      Who wanted clean air, water and food?
      Who wanted your car to have a seatbelt?

      I can do this all day. There’s a 1,000 other things on this list, but you see the point. PROGRESS is something every sane, rational human being wants. Man, what a crybaby you are. WHAAAAA….I’m going to move into a cave so those mean old Progressives can’t get me!!!!

      You owe them your thanks! Without them, your life and everybody’s lives would suck a whole lot more than they do.

      • Jdog says:

        BS. Pure BS. Progressives are ruining this country, and it will soon implode from their fiscal irresponsibility….

      • FinePrintGuy says:

        nodecentrepublicansleft: Do you also believe that progressives like Al Gore invented the Internet? I would encourage you to examine these “non-facts” which have been planted in your mind:

        Free the slaves: President Lincoln and the Republican party.

        Women’s suffrage: 19th amendment passed in Senate by:
        20 Democrats Yea
        17 Democrats Nay
        9 Democrats Not voting/abstained
        36 Republicans Yea
        8 Republicans Nay
        5 Republicans Not voting/abstained

        Clear Air etc: EPA established by Nixon.

        Civil Rights Act of 1964 garnered stronger support from Republicans than from Democrats (who held the majority controlling position):

        The Senate version:

        Democratic Party: 46–21 (69–31%)
        Republican Party: 27–6 (82–18%)

        The Senate version, voted on by the House:

        Democratic Party: 153–91 (63–37%)
        Republican Party: 136–35 (80–20%)

        So really, you owe the Republican party your thanks.

        • Mark says:

          Oh, puh-leeze… The old party of Lincoln routine. TODAY’s GOP would never have supported any of the policies you speak of.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Hahahahaha, those were the old Republicans. They’re long gone, most of them are dead.

        • NBay says:

          Not to mention the “Dixiecrat Dems”, who would trade almost ANYTHING to keep Jim Crow alive and well.

        • NBay says:

          I got a huge kick out of geezer Gomert (TX) who made a long speech about how Dems voted prior to civil rights era before they all went GOP. His own dad was likely a “Dixiecrat Dem”, but ignorant people never knew that….a Dem is a Dem forever, to most.
          Things change….don’t be so scared of it, “tough guys”.

        • NBay says:

          Personal example; When we visited my Grandpa in Sparta NC when I was in eighth grade, 1960 or so, he showed me the 1 mi walk he took to work in the shoe factory there. The south was all pretty solid Democrat then.

          The “Dixiecrats”.

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        Thank you Progressives! You’re why everything is so great now for those in the top 20%. And those collecting from trust funds.

  22. MiTurn says:

    I’d be curious, although probably no way to know from the data, if the majority of people leaving California are originally from another state or are native Californians (meaning, born and raised there). My anecdotal experience with new arrivals to my state are the latter.

    • Anthony A. says:

      I was a “pass through”…..Connecticut >California>Texas. I wouldn’t go back to either state now. And like Wes, can’t afford it now.

    • BrianC - PDX says:

      The first wave of people moving into Oregon in the mid 80’s and into the early 90’s, from CA, formed the backbone of the Oregon Citizen’s Alliance. Associated with the “Lon Mabon” culture wars[1] of the time. These were conservative types fleeing CA for a destination more “in line” with their values. Or so they thought.

      They are probably horrified at the thought of Portland now.

      As I recall this was the first wave of native CA residents fleeing to OR to escape CA. Not for tax reasons, necessarily, but because they perceived CA as on the path to hell.

      From my faulty memory of the times.

      I’d be really interested in knowing what the demographic makeup looks like for people leaving CA right now.

      [1] There were several years when divisive ballot measures were put up by OCA and other groups during that time.

      • Depth Charge says:

        Oregon is, in some ways, worse than CA now.

      • Ms. Milah says:

        …and of course Oregon was founded as a “white utopia” that excluded Blacks from residing there entirely at one time.

        • MiTurn says:

          Ancient history, not really relevant today. The logic then was to avoid creating a southern outpost and all the inherent problems.

        • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

          And on 1/6/21, we had a “White Riot” (cue The Clash!).

          Democracy can go into the dumpster if these over-privileged, crybaby clowns don’t get their way.

          I’m an old white guy and even I can’t believe the ridiculousness of these people. Thinnest skins wussies you’ll ever meet in your life.

        • NBay says:

          Yeah, maybe they will all go back to paintball, practicing war, and walking around town with AR-15s…..much cheaper than a Harley, and also adds inches.

      • Seneca’s Cliff says:

        As I remember it the first wave of Californians moving to oregon was in the 70’s. I had a “don’t Californicate Oregon” bumper sticker in 1978. We even had beer commercials on TV with Californians being caught at the border and put in prison. In the words of our great Governor of the time, Tom McCall, “ come visit our beautiful state of excitement, but please don’t stay.” Sadly too many did not heed those words putting us in the pickle we are in today.

        • shandy says:

          Tom Mcall as a public servant will be forever known as a prince among men.

        • w.c.l. says:

          Oooooh, thanks for bring up Tom McCall, I’d forgotten what a good governor used to be like. More than once in the early eighties I’d drive up I-5 from Sacto to visit my father in Oak Grove/Milwaukee, would be at a stoplight in the area and get nasty looks from the locals who noticed my California plates.
          “Heed the words”? Good luck with that, once someplace has been “discovered” by outsiders with money it’s hard to stop. I haven’t been back in ten years and between the influx and last years fires I’m afraid to see what the place looks like now.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Right Arm SC, LOL.
          “Back to the Land” in SoHum/NorCal in early ’71 until the pot growers and their out of control children made the locality un safe,,, then to southern OR for a few years, then southern Williamette Valley for a while.
          The locals in OR then were fairly conservative,, welcoming and supporting of anyone who came to work, not so good for those who wanted welfare, etc.. Work was readily available, though pay was low compared to SF bay area where I eventually settled for the good wages.
          Rained every single day in southern Williamette area from mid January to mid June, but it was easy to get used to it,,, and VERY clean air!

        • NBay says:

          Was at OSU in Corvallis then, 78-79. The Rainer Beer ad you refer to ended with border guy (after finding another brand of beer in trunk), saying, well, it’s ok this time, here’s a map, enjoy your visit. Guy said, I’m a developer from CA and moving up. Border guy snatched maps back and said “that’s a felony”. Also had a cool ad with hot bike that said “Rainer Beer” in all fast moving motorcycle sounds, and Mt Rainer in background.

          Also made sure to tell people I was from NORTH CA, and they all said, hell, that’s part or Oregon, when I was jumping at DZ in Sheridan. Made lots of friends, took me to my first Rocky Horror in Portland.

          Was nasty icy winter that year. Body shops had waiting lists.

  23. Cookie says:

    Crimes in LA significantly increased as well within the past year. We have an incompetent mayor and a useless DA to blame for that. Homelessness, traffic, congestion and high cost of living also factored in people’s decisions to move somewhere else.

    • MiTurn says:

      So lets defund the police. Problems solved…

    • crazytown says:

      Well maybe the government needs to de-criminalize normal behaviors and you need to adjust your expectation of what is or is not a crime. You are showing your privilege by objecting to car thefts, shoplifting, rioting, and other normal behaviors of an advanced society

      • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

        That’s really funny, except that 60 yrs of research shows that sometimes throwing more $ at crime doesn’t make it better.

        What Sean Hannity and Rupert Murdoch’s other professional high paid liars won’t tell you is that nobody wants to abolish the police. What “defunding” means is re-allocating some of the budget to other departments who can handle situations the police shouldn’t.

        For example, 9/10 times the police are called, it’s for a non-violent situation. Since Republicans like Ronald “jelly bean aficionado and Alzheimer patient” Reagan made horrible decisions like closing most of the insane asylums, the police are dealing w/shit they were never intended to.

        So when you re-allocate (defund) some of their budget, you can take some of the load off the cops, so they can focus on doing their jobs instead of pulling cats out of trees and responding to crazy/homeless people who the police can do nothing for anyway.

        They can arrest them and then you, me and the other citizens spend $60K/yr to keep a crazy guy who isn’t a criminal in jail.

        The system is not working so well when the LAND OF THE FREE has the highest incarceration rate in the world! Higher than “repressive societies” like China, Russia, etc.

        So you can make all the Tucker Carlson jokes you want but the reality remains the same. Fixing our problems requires more than a money laundering bigot inflaming your racial animus.

        • NBay says:

          Well Said!… and all TRUE. I remember well when the jerk “carefully modified” the mental health care system cost for the better, by just throwing them all out on the street.

  24. Bill MB says:

    This is pretty interesting.

    Just as a a datapoint, I work at a large engineering company in the south bay of Los Angeles.

    I manage a group of development engineers and technicians. Everyone has been remote this last year except the technicians. Our work has gone badly—-it’s hard to get new hardware working with engineers at home.

    I’ve told my people that have to go back as they get vaccinated. My group is now 100% back.

    But the company as a whole is not. People seem to plan on going back about 66%.

    And about 10% of people want to work remotely permanently.

    I’m a bit shocked by this—-productivity and teamwork have really been bad over the last year. My projects are all over budget and behind schedule.

    High level company management seems to be ok with the situation. We’ve been on a big hiring binge, and our short of office and cubicle space. I think the are anticipating going to a situation where no one has assigned offices anymore—-then, no need to get another building.

    I’m not moving, I can’t develop hardware without dealing with people face to face.

    A number of people have moved away. I’m told the policy is they take their salaries with them, but they won’t get raises until their salaries equalize for their new geography.

    So, you may really see a permanent exodus. If my companies 10% numbers are representative, that is the upper limit on folks moving out of LA. In reality, a lot of that 10% are abandoning long commutes.

    However, I think productivity for my company will drop.

    • Nathan Dumbrowski says:

      Plus it isn’t always just about the employee moving. There are considerations for people that leave the state if the business has no point-of-presence. Learned this. If your company isn’t it that footprint then it is foreign legal land. For example if you get laid off out of your primary state whom pays your state un-employment benefits? HR questions not technical questions as those can be discussed via video conference IMO

      • lenert says:

        Plus pretty sure health insurance isn’t portable across state lines either so companies may need to add new plans to cover people that move to other states?

        • Petunia says:

          All the big healthcare insurers are multi state providers.

        • Anthony A. says:

          Once the WFH employee becomes a contract employee he will have to buy his own health insurance. Remember, the ACA Plan is “affordable” and you can “use your own doctor”. Problem solved.

      • Petunia says:

        Your unemployment is paid by the state in which your job is based, regardless of where you live or perform your duties.

  25. MCH says:

    Would be interesting to see from the data whether those people leaving the state altogether are due to the lack of affordability in CA or due to the policies being put in place.

    Either way, it’s not enough people leaving to make a difference. At the rate of outflow in the Bay Area, it’s not even a fraction of a drop in the bucket. This minor tick down … to use a newly popularized word is transitory.

    • Bill MB says:

      I promise you it is almost 100% unaffordability. There are a lot of really great things about California.

      I grew up on east coast, and have travelled throughout US for work.

      I think it’s easy to be happy in most places. But being 20 something and living near California coast is really awesome.

      People move when they have kids, mostly.

    • Cold in the Midwest says:

      Good question about the exiting Californians MiTurn. Natives or pass-throughs? I’ve often wondered the same about the CA homeless population. How many are from CA originally?

      I’ve heard varying estimates as to that proportion.

      • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

        Does it really matter where they’re “From”?

        I was born in rural Virginia in 1969. My family moved to FL in 1979. So now at 52 years old, I’m “from VA” but have lived in FL for the better part of 80% of my life.

        Am I a “real” Floridian? I guess not, but at the end of the day, who cares and what does it matter? I’ve heard people say “Semi-Native”…me, I just say “I’m a typical, tropical tramp…..” :)

  26. zr says:

    The Roman Empire fell when people started leaving the cities and moving to the country side. aka de-urbanization. The dark ages fell upon one side while the other side became indoctrinated into a cult. history doesn’t repeat but it rhymes.

    e pluribus unum

    • Phoneix_Ikki says:

      Nah remember, this time is different right? Roman Empire didn’t have social media and MSM to tailor craft the influence, control and distractions needed to kick whatever can down the road while selling you prosperity gospels. The business of selling hopium has never been better, don’t think Roman Empire ever had that figured out and lack the tools to carry it out even if they did.

    • MiTurn says:

      Rome was in dire straits well before the urban-to-rural exodus. It was a symptom, not a cause.

      Still, it resonates…loudly.

  27. Yancey Ward says:

    That is ok- the rest of the country is sending California its homeless. California can house them in the new units as per the recent court orders. Problem solved.

  28. Ralph Hiesey says:

    “Biggest construction boom since 2008, despite declining population: So who is buying?”

    Here are the steps:

    1. Inflation talking points by Republicans scolding Democrats for thinking about spending as much as THEY did in the past 4 years.

    2. Panic especially among the rich about losing money from inflation–partly because of all the inflation talk.

    3. Rush by rich to transfer cash to save their ass ets: Most importantly housing assets– I suspect also other commodity assets as well–steel, copper et al. Therefore a few rich spending in panic for housing, and housing construction materials and other commodities expected to rise much more.

    4. Later, not enough people in the lower 80% wealth category who have the money to support the higher prices.

    5. Housing price collapse and building materials and commodities prices settling down again because of lack of broad demand at higher prices.

    This is my guess–but I’m ready to find out I was wrong! Which I suspect will only be wrong if wages for the bottom 70% go up a lot.

    • Heinz says:

      “2. Panic especially among the rich about losing money from inflation–partly because of all the inflation talk.”

      Sorry, but the truly rich do not worry at all about inflation– they can handle it in stride and perhaps profit from it. It is the middle class and poor that suffer from effects of inflation.

      • Ralph Hiesey says:


        Don’t misunderstand–I’m not saying inflation is not a very bad thing that could certainly eventually happen, and be a big problem for anyone with any assets at all–like someone with just $50K at retirement time. But guess who was mainly responsible for all that free Fed cash flow. Hint: it wasn’t the bottom 70%.

        My point is only this: I’m guessing that it won’t happen as FAST as some think. Because the rich have gotten most all the extra Fed cash. They are seeing ASSET inflation. The rest don’t have enough money to SUPPORT much price inflation at this point.

        Maybe the Fed even realizes that?

  29. Jon says:

    I am in San Diego and own a home which cost much more than million dollar in a good neighborhood

    We are single income family and make close to 800k.

    I am planning to quit on CA soon as the quality of life has gone down quite a lot.

    Million dollar homes housing multi generational family.
    A SFY bought by many families with pooled money and resources and many families loving in single home.

    I see ADUs propping up everywhere which is making this sardines packing phenomenon even worst.

    On top of this.. my CA state income tax was quite a lot ..

    My job allows me to work from anywhere for years but time has come to look for better state I guess

    In last 20 years I lived in 5 different states and liked all of them except CA

    • Old school says:

      Curious what pays 800K other than a CEO.

      • Turtle says:

        Doctor/attorney couples and certain business owners.

        • Turtle says:

          Oh, single income. I’d have to guess attorney or business owner in that case. Maybe appointed government official. =P

      • ivanislav says:

        CEO? You must be joking; your handle is appropriate. A friend of mine is a level 8 employee at google getting roughly 800k at one of their Washington state locations.

    • lenert says:

      800 grand is in the top 1% of the income distribution.

      • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

        Oh how I weep for those suffering 1%ers! Mean old Handsome Uncle Joe wants them to pay their fair share….SOCIALISM!!!!

        Call Sean Hannity! Call Tucker Carlson!
        Call Glenn Beck! Call Fox & Friends!

        We have to stop this. We can’t let them take the Lake House.

        Will Muffy and Buffy still get to “summer in the Hamptons”!?!?!

        I just bought a Super Yacht! This is awful……

        • Turtle says:

          You know, wealthy people are people. You don’t have to be a jerk.

          I’ve never liked this whole idea of feeling entitled to another person’s property simply because they have more.

          Here’s a quote from Bono, of all people:

          “In the United States, you look at the guy that lives in the mansion on the hill, and you think, “You know, one day, if I work really hard, I could live in that mansion.” In Ireland, people look up at the guy in the mansion on the hill and go, “One day, I’m going to get that bastard.”

        • NBay says:

          Bono,,,har har….
          South Park did a good show on him…..it’s an equal opportunity anti hypocrisy show…..they go after PC, too…..I love it.

    • Jon says:

      Not a biz owner or a in some high profile professional
      My salary is quite less than my total income
      I am kind of sad seeing the state of my city San Diego
      Ite going downhill year after year

      • Phoneix_Ikki says:

        So does it mean you got a Walter White kind of side business going on? In that case I would say $800K is on the low end of things..

        • jon says:

          Not sure what is ‘walter kind’. Apologies, I am not that smart :-).
          anyway, the discussion is not about my income but about CA.

          I go to beach once a year so I won’t miss it.
          Don’t really care much about weather.

          I can see quality of life going down in CA over time especially in coastal cities over time.
          Never though, in America, people would be living like this like I see in coastal CA, packed in like sardines. This ADU movement would make it worse.

          But I am sure CA would find new suckers all the time.
          For me, life is limited so I want to enjoy. May be retire in cheap place in few years,
          I don’t have the mindset of ‘keeping up with the Jonese’s’.

        • Anthony A. says:

          Jon, go somewhere else where you can enjoy yourself. Like you say, life is limited. I know that at age 77, and I am trying my best to make the best of the years I have left.

          That’s a big mistake people make….they think they will live forever. Then when something goes wrong, like getting cancer, or having a stroke, they realize they wasted a lot of time chasing the dollar and paying the price to do that.

      • Old school says:

        I retired at 50 with relatively little money. Main thing is just to figure out how much stuff you need to be happy and what kind of lifestyle you want. I have seen happy people living on less than $800 per month.

      • Turtle says:

        Yes, it is sad. I left San Diego for Texas more than a decade ago and we notice it every time we visit. Overcrowding and deterioration. It’s not what it was. I hope you find a place you enjoy.

    • John says:

      … 800k or 80k?

      • jon says:

        It’s not 80K.
        Thanks Guys for all the replies. Honestly, I come to WS for comments, no offense to WR :-)
        I am a salaried guy but my overall income can be very high depending on how I do with my investment.

        My needs are extremely limited as I am kind of minimalist. I try not to get swayed by material wealth/possessions but having a good health physically/mentally/spiritually is very important for me

        I think I can live comfortable in less than $1K/month :-) and be happy.

  30. Mira says:

    This is a lot of movement by a whole lot of people, regularly up routing themselves.
    If the figures are correct, does this mean that these people are renters ??
    Transient types moving from one job site to another, road crews, fruit pickers, defence personnel ??
    Or is it property investors moving in, buying up, & there buy force increasing property value, selling up/cashing in & moving to the next cash pot.
    My friend Raphael is a young real estate agent .. “The Market is booming Mira, record sales across the board.” .. “Wow, U definitely making money here .. only that I noticed that properties sold 6-12 months ago are up for sale again .. what the hell Raph ??

  31. Rosebud says:

    How many thousands Galt Gulches in CA? or anywhere?

    The etymology of vacation is vacate.

    For everyone moving there is another one buying a house for the Doges

    And soon the cloister gets its Dogefather.

    Count the commas in the last Line of first paragraph, to find out what’s important on Black’s List.

    • Rosebud says:

      This one made me laugh, an exceptionally good example of a Lioncoin not a Dogecoin

      “SHIBA INU is a community-driven experiment project where half of the token supply was locked, and the other half was sent to Vitalik Buterin. ” taken from coincodex.

      Ladies and Gentlemen, the “Community” is pranking itself..with a Sadistic answer to a Masochist Artwork

    • Xavier Caveat says:

      Galt’s gulch is south of Elk Grove, and settlers there enjoy quite the cacophony of Ag pesticides & smells, but its all worth it, they claim.

  32. Degobah Smith says:

    I suppose I’m a statistic. We left Ventura County for Savannah, GA 2.5 years ago. We couldn’t be happier here. The people are real (for a change from SoCal) and the living is great and way less expensive. Our liberal friends were flabbergasted that we moved to Georgia – but Savannah is like a beautiful little blue bubble in a vast red sea. And, you can carry your drink with you in an open cup (plastic) anywhere in downtown. What’s not to love?

    Here’s what I miss from So Cal:
    Sunsets at the beach.
    Topography of any kind.

    Here’s what I don’t miss from So Cal:
    Pretentious people.
    Traffic and congestion.
    Expensive living (housing + fees + gas + …)

  33. Two Thoughts:

    1) The Permitting process in California, depending on the county and city, can be a nightmare – so if you get an approved permit you will build, thus more housing units coming on line even as the population declines. These are plans and developments years in the making.

    2) From what I found, California is either at or near the top of state income tax rates and overall taxation. The question for many is becoming (or has become) do they want to pay a 10-15% premium to live in California?

    I am sure the Department of Finance hopes that this is a one time drop. It will be easier than actually doing the hard work of living within your means.

  34. ru82 says:

    Later this year the home builders my be a good short.

    Scroll back up to restore default view.
    Yahoo Finance
    Homebuyer sentiment sinks to a 10-year low amid tight supply
    Amanda Fung
    Amanda Fung·Editor
    Fri, May 7, 2021, 7:30 AM·4 min read






    Homebuying sentiment hit a 10-year low in April as the housing market continues to heat up into the busy spring season, according to new data released Friday morning.

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) fell 2.7 points to 79 last month from a month earlier. One part of the six-component index — buying conditions — turned negative for the first time in the survey’s history. In April, the net share of consumers who say it is a good time to buy fell 14 percentage points from a month earlier. Three other components of the index, (home price outlook, job loss concern and change in household income), also decreased month-over-month, while selling conditions and mortgage rate outlook increased.

    “April’s HPSI reading appears to have been acutely impacted by the ongoing lack of housing supply despite improving economic conditions,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist for Fannie Mae, in a press statement. “Consumer sentiment toward buying homes reached the lowest level in our survey’s 10-year history; unsurprisingly, respondents overwhelmingly cited the lack of supply and high home prices as primary reasons for their pessimism.”

    Last month, the percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to buy a home dropped to 47% from 53%, while the percentage who say it is a bad time to buy increased to 48% from 40%, according to Fannie Mae.

    • YuShan says:

      I can’t wait for all markets to crash. Stocks, bonds, housing… get it over with already! I hope I’ll be able to invest on fundamentals again in my lifetime instead of memes and second guessing what central banks can get away with.

      • “Get it over with?” The 2000 recession and market drop was hockeysticked up using the Iraq war. That lasted until 2008, which left a lot of unfinished business, and the 2019 market swoon never plumbed a proper bottom either. The final outcome will be an “L” shaped recovery. Let’s hope that day never comes.

        • YuShan says:

          The sooner is comes the better. The longer this clown show goes on, the worse the next crisis will be.

        • Old school says:

          I agree. Fed stopped the slide. I missed buying BRK by $1 at $178. Now it’s pushing $295. Still think sp500 going to around 1500.

      • Xavier Caveat says:

        If homes performed like all other used consumer goods such as cars, a new 3/2 SFH that sold for $380k new would be worth $275k the moment you put the key in the front door, only to continually lose value until the markets decreed it had reached a stable value @ say $90k, a decade later.

        You might just get your wish…

  35. ChangeMachine says:

    “Excess death” does not equal COVID death. The massive rise in homicide during the lockdown era, for instance.

    • Xavier Caveat says:

      ‘massive rise’ in homicides?

      It went up about 20% in LA, from 280 to 349 in 2019 to 2020.

      Thanks for playing along, but that dog won’t hunt.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Oh lordy…

      There were 1,679 homicides in California in 2019.

      The 2020 state-wide data isn’t out yet, but the data for four major cities is out: Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco.

      – LA: homicides increased from 237 in 2019 to 332 in 2020.
      – Oakland: homicides increased from 75 in 2019 to 102 in 2020
      – San Francisco: homicides increased from 41 (multi-decade low) to 48
      – San Diego increased from 50 to 55.

      Combined for the four cities homicides increased from 403 in 2019 to 537, an increase of 134 homicides (+33%).

      If the 33% increase holds true for the entire state, then homicides increased from 1,679 in 2019 by 554 homicides in 2020.

      “Excess deaths” were 51,000 rounded. And of that, maybe 500 or so were increased homicides. Get it???

  36. Mira says:

    If you google .. Nuovo Cinema Paradiso class scene youtube
    It’s funny ..

  37. MonkeyBusiness says:

    Apparently there’s a new proposal on the table to give out more stimulus money in California.

    Perhaps we will be able to reverse the outbound migration?

    • DougP says:

      Newsom is just trying to buy recall votes by promising to give out more free money. California has a budget surplus apparently, who knew?

      He could give me a free house and I’d still vote to recall him.

    • Mira says:

      Driving Downtown – Santa Monica .. youtube
      We are driving along the beach & get stuck at every red light .. this is like driving down Beaconsfield Parade, Vic. only there are not as many palms .. these palms cost $10,000 – $20,000 EACH !! & not the parkland greenery.
      I know it’s not all of California but .. why would anyone want to leave this place !!

      • Mira says:

        *Santa Monica*
        *Yacht Harbour*
        Sport Fishing *Boating
        There are people everywhere .. calm, relaxed, motivated, about their business ,on scooters, bikes , on foot, in vehicles .. & these beautiful, expensive, trees everywhere.
        The energy flow is happy, contented, enthusiastic.
        BigQuestion .. are we sure that people actually leave this place ??
        It could be not true .. a means of extracting monies under faluse pretences ??

  38. tfourier says:

    Whats interesting about all the “California is expensive” comments above is that they could have been written at any time in the last thirty five years I have known the state. And from what I have seen of historical real estate prices in the Bay Area and Southlands could have been written at any time since the early 1970s’.

    Until the 1970’s when anti-growth / no growth zoning and ordinances kicked in the coastal California cities household incomes / housing costs ratio had remained fairly constant for many decades. Since at least the 1920’s. The big cities ceased to be affordable after the first modern real estate bubble had run its course by the end of 1970’s. And have been ever since.

    I can remember when places like Santa Rosa, Oxnard and Santa Maria were very small towns. Not the fairly big overflow cities they are now from no growth neighboring cities / counties. No growth just puts up prices and move growth elsewhere. Less suitable.

    As for California being politically nuts and full of cranks and crazies. Its always been that way. Either tottering towards insanity or full on deranged. Even before the anglos turned up in the 1840’s the local politics in Alta California was so bizarre that it even made the government in Mexico City (when there was one) shake it head in bewilderment saying – what is wrong with those crazy Californios.

    So nothing new there either. One of the many charms of the state and part of the reason why it is such an intoxicating addictive place to live. Aint anywhere else like it.

  39. Robert says:

    So is everyone and their uncle in California getting a real estate license again? Last bubble-time in the early 2000s it was a mania.

    I believe there is one licensed real estate salesperson for every 95 Californians.

  40. MV says:

    After 23 years in CA we’re out of here for Florida in 4 weeks. Crazy costs are one thing but bigger issues for us include:

    The school district keeping our kids out of the classroom for virtually the whole school year, doing nothing to push the union and local health dictatorship and state to get back to the classroom, while at the same pushing critical race theory under the guise of anti-racism.

    The CA state department of education advancing its proposal for “non-racist math” likely to remove math aptitude streaming and further dumb down the curriculum.

    The awful state of San Francisco, more than ever a filthy, lawless place with little to offer families. We won’t even get into the woke fiasco of them trying to rename the schools.

    Walmart stores and pharmacy chains in relatively wealthy areas such as Mountain View that keep the underwear and basic items under lock and key due to the $950 inadvertent state shoplifting limit.

    The fearful folks who are glad to remove their mask with you over lunch but insist to wear it outside with you 1-1, or who are only too happy to push their thermometer in your face without asking permission.

    The declining road maintenance along 101 and the expressways. Once upon a time they would pave them when needed, now they only seem to fill the cracks and have dramatically reduced picking-up trash.

    The proliferation of toll express lanes in spite of the record setting level of person of income tax. We won’t even get into the current state proposal to increase taxes and enact an exit tax.

    The encampments that have sprung-up alongside 237 in the supposedly protected wetlands and along the sides of once clean highway easements.

    Routine beggars on the center islands at intersections, and screaming homeless in the downtown areas of Mountain View and Sunnyvale.

    The obvious massive takeover of the technology industry by fascist business leaders and their cronies operating on behalf of corrupt politicians to foster Marxism and censorship in their employee ranks.

    Amazingly the majority of people I work with in the tech industry think the issues are minor or non-existent, or the next governor will fix them, or they don’t care.

    Based on our observations California is lost. It’s not part of they USA or party to the Constitution.

    • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

      I am so with you! I’ve had a big problems w/Marxists around here (SWFL).

      First of all, they never clean up their dog crap and they LOVE to double park…man, that drives me nuts!

      And don’t get me started about then buying up all the millet & flax lavash. FL used to be heavenly but with all these damned Marxists moving here.

      I’m thinking Saudi Arabia or Russia to get away from these people.

    • Turtle says:

      Does Walmart in Mountain View really keep underwear under lock and key? I didn’t know Mountain View even had a Walmart.

      “Amazingly the majority of people I work with in the tech industry think the issues are minor or non-existent…”

      Are they natives or what? A lot of people just haven’t gotten out of the state, so they have nothing to compare it to. They must assume that because Hollywood makes California look so dreamy, it really is.

      When it comes to living standards, there’s no worse value proposition in America except maybe New York.

      • NBay says:

        Yeah, Yeah, YEAH! ……that’s good enough!….we don’t know any better, so leave us alone in our pathetic ignorant misery…..find something in your own area to whine or bitch about…….must be something wrong there……potholes?

  41. YacosModernLife says:

    Value of housing eroded beyond all logic. Go live in a 800 square foot, roach infested SHOEBOX FOR 400K. Or more likely 3k per month because your not set on buying into the bug colony with 5k in yearly taxes. Plus HOA. Plus Parking. Minus privacy, yard and so on. What’s the Unit cost in material and labor 20-40k. Shared entrance, one elevator and windowless, narrow hallways all in the face of covid restrictions. That’s what utopian city seekers found across the country, transient predatory housing situations in the headwinds of housing hyperinflation and covid. Corporate directives at work. Conglomerate supply on the front end, non-livable slave labor in the middle, less value (less quality of life) for more money on the backend and then all backstopped by government.

    How do the words affordable housing program and habitat for humanity sound now, LMFAO, absolutely unreal.

    Covid generated massive domestic migration, all false demand in the latest new false reality. NY has had population decline for years. Property taxes are the main catalyst. So they bring in all the foreigners they can to cover. Taxes for counter productive programs; zero gravity, corrupt, and fraud ridden, or all the above. Opposite Of desired affect achieved, zero accountability, just a perpetual 2008. MOAR’s their only answer, there’s been a shortage of reality for 13 years now. Temp hospitals built overnight across the country and never used, with taxpayer money. but you want a reasonable price for value on housing, ‘there’s no labor or plywood!’

    • Turtle says:

      “Go live in a 800 square foot, roach infested SHOEBOX FOR 400K.”

      What’s hilarious is that spending $500K on a house in California means you’re living in a the poorest, ugliest and most dangerous neighborhood while spending that very same amount in most Texas suburbs means you’re pretty well-heeled (Austin excepted) and enjoying a big house on a large lot, possibly behind a gate or on a golf course.

      – Ex-Californian

      • NBay says:

        Man, WHAT is your problem? You left, so you are happier,……SO ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!

      • YacosModernLife says:

        1950 3.2k per year 8.5k per house (2.6)
        2018 50:250 (5) 2020 55:300. (5.5) now you say 500:55 (10)

  42. The Bob who cried Wolf says:

    Every article about Californians coming to their state says they bring their money and push house prices up. Ignoring everything else one only needs to pay attention to “bring their money”. I’ve seen it here with my friends and customers leaving. It’s typically conservative wealthy folks getting out…and taking their money with them. Ca is in trouble with all their vilifying of the rich. They’re leaving.
    The numbers above don’t, and really can’t measure how many illegals have moved In to fill the vacancies.
    San Diego isn’t showing any signs of negative growth. Ca is very close to being a poster child welfare state if we already aren’t.

    • nodecentrepublicansleft says:


      I often see “conservative wealthy folks” leaving and “illegals” moving in “to fill the vacancies!

      Where I live in Sarasota, a large mansion directly on Sarasota Bay at the end of my street recently sold. I was walking by dog by there the other day and guess who moved in?

      A bunch of illegals! They just walked 1,000 miles to get here in flip-flops, carrying almost nothing but the clothing on their backs. And yet…here they are! Replacing my conservative, wealthy neighbors who I so dearly miss.

      Imagine the gall of “vilifying the rich”!? Oh, I feel faint….

    • Turtle says:

      The only reason California’s population isn’t in massive decline is because of immigration, both legal and illegal. But I wonder how much longer legal immigrants will see it as the place to land. California’s leadership needs to get it together. Maybe Caitlyn can help… like Arnold (that whole recall the Democrat and replace them with a moderate celebrity Republican thing). LOL

  43. SOL says:

    I would absolutely LOVE to see all equity in real estate in California lost. Equity refugees completely screwed the market here in Bend.

    • Turtle says:

      I guess it won’t matter until policies change. We already saw equity evaporate 2008 – 2011. Californians were jacking up the markets in AZ and NV. Now they’re doing it in just about the whole West and South. It’s hard to imagine this won’t end with at least as big a bang as last time, then repeat again in another 15 years or so.

  44. Mira says:

    Driving Downtown – Los Angeles 20 min into video ..
    Energy = semi mind-numbing exhaustion as in all cities .. still it is a well designed city.
    The problem with all cosmopolitan cities is the cars & the time you spend getting around in them .. if you work in town you need to live in town therefore everything needs to be there & including recreational social activity & intimate public transport need to happen.
    I can see how people would get to “I’m going to die if I don’t get out of here.”
    A lot of money & creativity has gone into theses locations & the trees .. BRAVO AMERICA !!

  45. Lawefa says:

    They are all coming to AZ jacking our home prices up.

  46. Mira says:

    Driving Downtown Chicago – 35 min into video –
    Wow !!
    Stylish, majestic, buildings in old style & modern architecture standing side by side, across the road from each other & it all fits perfectly.
    Nice streets, nice trees.
    People walking, calm, relaxed, purpose driven, no stress, happy .. more people, 5 men chatting at red lights, many in casual attire & even sporting attire, no need for a monkey suit but the city looks so formally upmarket.
    Traffic & now even more traffic flowing .. bike riders & no helmets & on roadways for cars .. we suffer so much more anal retention than them.
    The amount of pedestrians & traffic do not reflect the capacity of the majestic tall towers .. where are all the people ??
    Ah, empty buildings .. it was mentioned .. building for tomorrow & making a killing.
    No ??
    Trump Tower, empty, collecting no rent, gathering dust, a liability ??
    Trump Holdings making profit, one offsets the other minimising taxes due, but also an asset to utilise as security for loans.
    Only that the empty towers are a wasted of land mass, energy, materials, resources all costing the TAXPAYER.
    No that I would pull them down.

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