Migration Report

This must mean that Allied’s best salespeople are in San Diego!

The 2023 Allied US Migration Report presents a detailed analysis of the current trends in interstate moves across the United States, highlighting significant patterns and underlying economic factors.

This year marked another decrease in the volume of interstate moves. Following the 20% decrease in 2022 compared to 2021, there was a further 12% decline in 2023 relative to the previous year. This continuous decline indicates a notable shift in migration patterns over the last two years.


Happy Happy

I know San Diego-Carlsbad is on this list, but there are others. It’s a great time to move elsewhere!

Designed by Gallup senior scientist Dan Witters, the study established 15 metrics—from eating healthy and learning something new every day to civic engagement, financial security, vacation time, and even dental checkups—that signal happiness. The National Geographic Gallup Special/Blue Zones Index draws on nearly 250,000 interviews conducted with adults from 2014 to 2015 in 190 metropolitan areas across the U.S as part of the Gallup-Sharecare Well Being Index.

In happier places, locals smile and laugh more often, socialize several hours a day, have access to green spaces, and feel that they are making purposeful progress toward achieving life goals. For our index, it tracked factors that are statistically associated with doing well and feeling well; these include feeling secure, taking vacations, and having enough money to cover basic needs.

Link to NG article

BofA Migration Data

Could it be that people are leaving other parts of California, but not as much from San Diego? This data suggests that, but for those who want to leave the state, Las Vegas is close enough that it’s a suburb for SoCal now.

Key takeaways

• Using Bank of America internal data we construct near real-time estimates of domestic migration flows, giving us almost one year of extra insight over Census Bureau data. Notably, we find pandemic migration trends are not reversing and we continue to see faster population inflow into sunbelt cities like Austin and Tampa.
• But house prices are weakening even in cities with growing populations. Why? In addition to high mortgage rates that are dampening demand in the near term, demographic composition also matters. For example, our data shows that population inflows into Austin skew younger, which might be putting more upward pressure on rents instead of on home prices.
• Looking through the current housing downturn, local housing markets with more Millennial and Baby Boomer residents could see strength as the former enter prime home-buying age and the latter downsize their houses or move after retirement. Bank of America data suggests Baby Boomers are relocating to Las Vegas and Tampa while Millennials prefer Austin. Both groups are leaving the larger cities of San Francisco and New York.

America on the move

A key theme that shaped the housing market during the pandemic was domestic migration (i.e., people moving within the US). While data from the Census Bureau is broken down by metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), it is only updated annually and can be outdated for real time analysis.

Utilizing aggregated and anonymized Bank of America customer data, we constructed near real-time estimates of domestic migration flows and found that pandemic migration trends are not reversing. Data as of 1Q 2023 suggests that cities that saw a large influx of people during the pandemic have still been growing fasterthan other cities in recent quarters.

“Bank of America data suggests baby boomers are relocating to Las Vegas and Tampa, Florida, while millennials prefer Austin, Texas,” the report noted, adding that both “groups are leaving the larger cities of San Francisco and New York.”

What makes Las Vegas so attractive to boomers? According to a 2023 study by Empower, a financial services company, Las Vegas ranked as the top spot for retirement thanks to its affordability, tax friendliness to retirees, ease of access to health care, and of course, its year-round sunshine.

“Based on our analysis, Las Vegas was the most affordable U.S. city for retirees,” the report’s findings stated. “For those looking for their daily dose of Vitamin D, Sin City ranked second for average yearly sunshine, and proved very tax-friendly, with no state income tax, and no estate or inheritance taxes. Additionally, Las Vegas has a thriving senior community and plenty of entertainment options.”

The only downfall, however, is Las Vegas, like many places around the U.S., is experiencing a significant affordable housing shortage, making it potentially difficult for some retirees to find a necessary cost-of-living balance.

“We need more product,” Lee Barrett, the president of the Las Vegas Realtors, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2023. “What’s kept the values up in the Las Vegas market is that lack of product, so it’s a supply and demand issue.”

If you can’t find housing as a retiree in Vegas, Bank of America’s report noted that two cities in Florida — Tampa and Orlando — are also top choices for baby boomers. And Florida will also be in style for retirees.


America’s Friendliest

Few of us are clamoring to live where hostility and ill-temper rule the social structure. You don’t hear friends and colleagues looking through real estate ads to find a neighborhood full of discontent and aggression. Instead, people clamor to find real neighborhoods that feel like the friendliest TV towns, such as Stars Hollow, Pawnee, and Schitt’s Creek.

But that made us wonder whether America had any areas that resemble these friendly but fictitious towns and what elements help to create these neighborhoods in real life. So we conducted a study to determine which American cities are the friendliest.

We compiled a list of popular neighborhoods across the United States based on the 200 most-viewed city neighborhoods on Zillow in 2022. Then we analyzed nearly 150K Google reviews from the past year for businesses in those neighborhoods.

From banks and bars to coffee shops and grocery stores, we analyzed the reviews of businesses people regularly visit, using the percentage of reviews with the word “friendly” in them to determine our rankings. This post details what we discovered so you can see how your city measures up.


San Diego is #1

Yeah ok but you already live in San Diego – consider moving to one of the others!

Retirees responded similarly to working adults when asked what qualities they desire in a city. Cost of living (46%) is the top priority for those surveyed, followed by closeness to family (36%) and safety (34%). However, retirees were more concerned about the weather (33%) and less concerned about employment opportunities.

As for where retirees hoped to live, San Diego, CA (19%), was the No. 1 choice, followed by Virginia Beach, VA (12%), and Charlotte, NC (12%). San Diego proved to be just as expensive for retirees as it did for working adults, landing at No. 107 out of 112 total cities. San Diego has high home prices and cost of living, and California taxes retirement account withdrawals. Charlotte ranks at No. 76 and Virginia Beach ranked in the top 20 most affordable cities for retirees. The coastal Virginia town was No. 14 for healthcare access and quality, with a bustling senior scene, and many 55+ retirement communities.


High Earners Leaving California

Another article in the LAT about the out-migration, and the current $68 billion budget deficit. If politicians raise taxes to compensate, could it drive more people away? And cause a surge in inventory? An excerpt:

In 2021 and 2022, about 750,000 more people left the state than moved in, according to recently released Census Bureau data. That was about as many as the total net loss of residents for all five years before the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

But it’s not just the sheer numbers of people who have left. What’s different is that in each of the prior two years, more than 250,000 Californians with at least a bachelor’s degree moved out, while an average of 175,000 college graduates from other states settled in California, according to an analysis of census data by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution.

In prior periods over the last two decades, that balance was about even or slightly in California’s favor, even though the state consistently lost many more residents overall to other states than it gained from them. The recent out-migration has been particularly pronounced among Californians with graduate and professional degrees.

California is heavily dependent on high earners to meet government fiscal needs. Tax filers in the top 1% of income, earning around $1 million and above, have typically accounted for 40% to 45% of the state’s total personal income tax revenue, said Brian Uhler, deputy legislative analyst at California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, which estimated the $68-billion budget deficit.

But it’s not just the super rich such as Elon Musk, who moved from California to Texas in 2020 and brought his company Tesla with him a year later, or movie star Mark Wahlberg, who left Los Angeles for Vegas last year. There’s been a broader exodus of ordinary Californians in the upper-income spectrum as well.

In the tax filing years 2020 and 2021, the average gross income of taxpayers who had moved from California to another state was about $137,000. That was up from $75,000 in 2015 and 2016, according to migration and personal income data from the Internal Revenue Service.

IRS and other data show that Texas has long been, by far, the top destination for Californians. And in the years 2015-16, an individual or couple who had moved from California to Texas reported an average income of $78,000, about the same as Texans who relocated to California. But by 2020-2021, California transplants in Texas reported an average income of about $137,000, while tax returns from former Texans who moved to California showed an average income of $75,000.

The income gap between those coming into California and those going out is even bigger when it comes to Florida, which, as far away as it is, has become a top five destination for emigrating Californians. Statistics show more older Californians are likely to move there. Florida, like Texas and Nevada and Tennessee, another more recent hot spot for Californians, doesn’t have a personal income tax.

In California, the top tax rate for personal income is 12.3%.

“They’re saying, ‘Hey, I’m working hard and the income tax is just killing me,” said Todd Litman, a longtime estate planning attorney in Tustin.

These days, Litman says he’s hearing from four to five clients every month who want to leave California, up from just one a month a few years ago. Many of his clients have $1 million or more in their retirement accounts, he said, and don’t want the extra tax burden when they make withdrawals.

But that’s not all. California’s pricey housing market is likely to keep driving more Californians elsewhere. Although trending lower in recent months, the median price of a single-family house in the state in October 2023 was $840,360, up 46% from the start of 2020, according to the California Assn. of Realtors.

Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi analyzed moves in and out of California for The Times using Equifax credit data, to zero in on the age of the movers. He found that since the pandemic in early 2020, California has lost residents in every age group, but by a significant margin the biggest net out-migration came from those 35 to 44 years old.

“This is probably motivated by the severe housing affordability crisis in California,” Zandi said. “It’s all but impossible for them to become homeowners in the state.”

Eric McGhee, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, who has written about demographic trends in migration, thinks the increased loss of higher-educated Californians to other states in recent years can be traced in significant part to the rise of remote work since the pandemic. As more employers call workers back to the office, and the share of fully remote work appears to have settled at around 10% of all employees, McGhee expects the net out-migration from California to slow.

Read the full article here:


Who Is Looking Elsewhere

It looks like 29% of you, or almost one out of three, are looking to move elsewhere? Or are you just confirming that there’s nothing better than San Diego?

San Diegans are looking elsewhere to live, according to a Redfin report that placed America’s Finest City as the No. 10 metropolitan area where homebuyers are leaving.

The real estate company analyzed about two million of its users who viewed for-sale home online across more than 100 metro areas from August to October.

Las Vegas was the top destination and top out-of-state destination in San Diego home searches. In October, the median sales price in San Diego was $914,000, compared to $412,000 in Las Vegas.

Sacramento is also on the minds of locals as San Diego ranked No. 3 on the number of homebuyers searching to move into California’s capital city, the study shows. The median price of a house in Sacramento was $500,000 in October, per Redfin.


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