California Migration - it’s not what you’ve been led to think.


I had the privilege of reviewing a comprehensive 26 page report on California migration produced by NEXT 10, an independent nonpartisan organization and prepared largely in part by Beacon Economics + a small host of people.

So what can I pass along to you and why is that important? Well, if we (Cali agents) are to be conversant in intelligent conversation regarding the market and what is going on we should know the facts and not the common place rumors!

So the exodus blame is most often attributed to California’s high personal income taxes. While it’s so easy to point to taxes as the nasty snake in the basket its simply not the case…not that it makes paying the highest rate in the nation any more easy to stomach.

So if not taxes then??? Well the data clearly shows that it’s our middle class that is being priced out of the state…it’s a quality of life issue not a high tax issue. The high cost of housing is perhaps the biggest culprit if not thee.

So here’s some data. Since 2006 (until 2016) those earning from 30k-50K accounted for 93,500 residents skedaddling from the state to places like Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. In percentage terms thats over 18% of the total.

Conversely people earning 50k-100k had an over 52% of the total. Now this sounds impressive, but the fact is we’ve lost 1,090,600 more people than we’ve taken in with the middle class shrinking and the other two ends of the spectrum growing, be it ever so slightly in comparison.

When you look at educational levels this bares out. Those with bachelor’s and higher degrees have the lowest propensity to leave the state while those who did not, have the greatest likelihood to beat it on out. And out they did beat it to a tune of more than 750K!

So here’s the myth buster, those with higher incomes pay more in taxes and are higher on the spectrum for effective rate. Why do they come? Well, if they can afford it they come because of what our fabulous state has to offer.

People like to live here despite the taxes and will find a way if possible. However, its the high price of housing plays the major factor in peoples choice to move away. Those that choose to do so are searching for a better more balanced quality of life. The main one being the ability to obtain and maintain the American dream of homeownership.

Zillow, who releases housing data on nearly 11,000 cites has 20 of the top 25 most expensive cities attributed to Cali. In the 3rd quarter of 2017 the top 15 least affordable were ALL in our state.

To boot, more than a quarter of all renters here are severely burdened by housing meaning they spend 50% or more on rent alone!

Affordable housing is on our elective representatives radar but realistically none of them have a concrete and realistic plan that is anything above lip service. CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) has it's talons dug in firmly and allows ease of abuse that makes housing growth difficult to say the least with little hope of being dialed back any time soon. Turning that spigot off alone would help grow our housing stock notably.

Bottom line is those that can afford to live here want to, all the negatives aside. Those that leave for the most part do so reluctantly but just want to have a better quality of life that is actually attainable somewhere else.

So this is my report on the report. I’ve attached a link to a highlighted version full of even more facts, figures and nifty graphs for you to peruse should you desire…its an exciting read…not…


See Full Report Here


Michael Robleto

REALTOR®-Compass Real Estate


Michael Robleto is a Pasadena based REALTOR®. His analytical and open approach to sales and representation have served his clients well in his twenty years of sales experience. Michael is a staunch homeowner advocate that blends compassion with a highly advanced technology-driven approach to the buying and selling of real estate in and around Los Angeles.  His client accolades of insight, integrity and hard work support the fact that he is not your average agent. 

Michael leverages his personal passion for historic architecture to provide his clients the unknown insight on the pros and cons of older homes.  Michael, a California native, grew up in an older Bungalow home and has spent 23 years in Southern California admiring the unique architecture of the region.  He often writes on homeownership strategy, historic residential architecture and Pasadena related topics which can be found on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram under the common profile name of his blog; BungalowAgent or at 

Michael is a committee member and frequent volunteer for the preservation efforts of Pasadena Heritage as well as a supporter of the Five Acres center for children.  

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