Photo: Ron W./Flickr
The results are in: long-term Bay Area residents still plan to move out en masse despite the year-over-year nine percent decrease in one-bedroom rent in San Francisco. A questionnaire by the Bay Area Council was delivered by email to a random sample of registered voters in its nine counties, and their answers reveal that 40 percent of Bay Area residents “somewhat agree” or “strongly agree” with the statement, “I am likely to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years.”
Respondents hailed from the North, South and East Bay, as well as the counties of Napa, Marin and Santa Clara. Since 2014, there has been a 15 percent decrease in the number of residents who believe “things in the Bay Area are going in the right direction.” Consequently, respondents who indicated that “things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track,” increased by 15 percent during the same time period.
When prompted with the question, “What is the most important problem facing the Bay Area today?” 55 percent mentioned Cost of Living as one of the top three problems, while 41 percent listed Traffic and 39 percent pointed towards Housing.
Perhaps the most striking detail to emerge from this survey is that the majority of respondents are long-standing residents. Sixty-four percent registered to vote more than ten years ago, 49 percent are over the age of 50, and 54 percent have lived in the Bay Area for more than twenty years. A staggering 72 percent of participants have lived in the Bay Area for more than eleven years.
Another statistic from the study demonstrates the continuing trend of wealthy people moving into the Bay Area. Forty-four percent of those who were polled reported earning more than a six-figure salary, compared to just 32 percent in 2014 — that’s a 12 percent jump in only three years.
Will respondents make good on their pledges and move out of the Bay Area for good? Only time (and the results of more surveys) will tell.