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California Outmigration Continues Despite Low Unemployment Rate

March 6, 2020

By Vicky Nguyen 

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – America is widely known as the land of opportunity, but not all opportunities are created equal.

“Anytime you move, it’s always a challenge,” says 30-year-old Paul Thomas.

Thomas is CEO of his own company Vitality Agency and specializes in regenerative medicine consulting. Nine months ago, a job opportunity pushed him and his family to Southern California and now a new opportunity is pulling them to Nevada.

“We’re pre-approved for $230,000 which will allow us to get something that’ll be perfectly comfortable down in Vegas, but we could may be get a shack down here for that price,” says Thomas.

He is currently paying $3,500 to rent a place in Redondo Beach. His future monthly mortgage payment in Nevada will be around $1,500.

“We really want to own a home and we just don’t have that opportunity here,” says Thomas.

He is just the many people migrating out of California for housing and employment opportunities in Nevada, Arizona, and Texas.

Professor Richard Green, the director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at University of Southern California, says outmigration reflects a problem.

“Unfortunately here in California, I think it’s more of a push than a pull. It’s not that people don’t want to stay here. It’s because they can’t afford to stay here,” says Professor Green.

While the unemployment rate in the state is at a historic low and wages are increasing, many people who are making an annual salary of $50,000 are still moving out. People with college degrees are making six figures or more are moving in.

“Housing is so darn expensive that if you’re not at the top of the league in income, you just don’t have a lot of money at the end of the month. You take a similar job in Phoenix, Dallas, Las Vegas and you’re going to have more money left over. You’re going to have a better standard of living,” says Professor Green.

He says California is also building homes at a slower rate than places like Arizona, Nevada and Texas which influences developers to hike up the prices for lost time.

Thomas’ escrow for his first home is closing in a couple weeks. Fortunately for him, he can work and meet with his clients remotely.

“I love California, but I’ll love her from afar,” says Thomas.

He hopes all this stress about move will pay off so he, his fiancée and their daughter can finally reach their American Dream.

Professor Green is the co-author of the USC Casden Multifamily Forecast, click here to read.

For more information on Thomas’ Vitality Agency click here.

The original article can be found here.