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California Becoming Less Popular in Post-COVID Era

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Monday February 8, 2021
California Becoming Less Popular in Post-COVID Era

Southern California residents have long known that living in this borderline-paradise comes with some not-so-paradise(y) costs. Cost of living is close to the highest in the nation, the homeless set up mini villages wherever there is space, and let’s not forget the traffic. Pair this with the fact that remote work is a truly viable option in the post-COVID era, and the main reasons for staying in California begin to dwindle. According to recent data, California is near the top of the list when it comes to residents emigrating (leaving) from one state to another.

As an initial matter, the data is premised on the notion that people who use moving vans have “above-average” wealth; while we don’t think that assumption necessarily holds true, moving vans are still a good proxy for people moving. There are 3 general ways to move: (1) friends with vehicles that can carry your stuff; (2) a moving van (and maybe friends) to move your stuff; or (3) a moving company. Since we’re studying state-to-state moves, leaving California, it is unlikely that your friends will do that for you. Since moving vans are cheaper than moving companies, one would expect the majority of people making state-to-state moves would use this option.

Utilizing data provided by a number of moving van providers, savvy mathematicians deduced that 60% of California rentals were for moves from California to another state; this number has been increasing by 2% every year since 2018 (56% 2018, 58% 2019).
Every year, people track all sorts of data to get a better snapshot of what happened. This article will discuss recent data designed to understand the moving patterns of California residents. Moreover, according to California state data, more people have emigrated from California, than have immigrated to California; 261,084 people have left California in 2020 (up 14,000 from 2019, and 92,000 from 2018). Indeed, California’s population only grew by 21,000 (before you break out your calculators, we’re clearly talking about infants).

Across van companies, California is consistently near the top of the list when it comes to emigration; California is keeping company with New York, Illinois, and New Jersey, Moreover, it appears that Idaho, Arizona, and South Carolina are leading the country in state-to-state immigration (this probably explains why Idaho is currently the most overvalued, by percentage, in the country).

Ultimately, this emigration is not substantial enough to significantly impact California’s robust housing market, but it is certainly a trend to keep an eye on. At the Chernov Team we understand that knowledge is power, and knowledge of migration trends across the states is powerful knowledge indeed. At the Chernov Team we know that whoever comes to the table most prepared leaves with the most, and the Chernov Team always leaves the table with the most.


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