Housing shortage pushing more lower-income residents out of California

But a new study found the state has added more big earners

TRD LOS ANGELES /
May.May 03, 2018 03:47 PM
Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas (Credit: La Citta Vita via Flickr)

California is becoming, more and more, a land for the rich.

Facing the worst housing shortage in the country, California is also coping with a relentless exodus of residents fleeing the state for lower-priced homes. But high rents and home prices are also prompting more people with big paychecks to move to California, according to studies released by the policy group Next 10.

The studies showed that 1.09 million more people left California for other states between 2006-2016 than arrived from other states. Most went to states with cheaper housing like Texas, Arizona, and Nevada, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Over the 11 years studied, California lost a net 516,800 households earning less than $50,000 per year, but it added 62,400 households earning more than that.

Driving the cross-traffic has been California’s housing shortage, the worst in the country. The state is short by 3.4 million units. The market for housing in some of L.A.’s more expensive neighborhoods is extremely tight. Homes sell in around a month after listing and median prices are rising by double-digits year-over-year.

The levels of migration were higher around 2006. They declined as the economy and housing prices dropped, and then picked back up again as the economy recovered. Around 41,000 more households left California than moved into the state in 2016. Just 3,400 left in 2012.

Still, births and immigration from outside the U.S. have made for steady population increase in California. Los Angeles added the most residents of any California city between January 2017 and January 2018, according to data released this week by the state Department of Finance.

The 33,000 or so people who moved to the city last year brought the population up to around 4.05 million.

But housing unit construction hasn’t kept up — 13,852 units were added in 2017 and more than 90 percent of them were in multifamily buildings. Construction activity has been increasing in recent years, but it hasn’t kept pace with rising home values. [LAT] – Dennis Lynch 


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