Las Vegas, New York Top List of Destinations for Workers Fleeing Large California Cities

The median sale price of a single family home in California is more than half a million dollars, and that’s pushing people to move to places like Las Vegas and New York. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Las Vegas, New York and Phoenix are the most common destinations for people leaving California for new jobs, according to a new report from the real estate website Trulia.

Trulia analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data from the first quarter of 2017 of people moving somewhere for a new job, focusing on people who moved away from San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego and Los Angeles.

“While this means that the data captures job-to-job moves specifically and may not capture the full picture of migration (e.g. those not in the workforce such as recent graduates and retirees) it spotlights moves that are economically motivated,” wrote Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia, in a post last week. “We feel this is an adequate proxy for general migration trends.”

The analysis found that 8.1 percent of people moving from one of those four cities in the first three months of 2017 ended up in Las Vegas, where the median home listing price during that period was $260,000, or less than one-half the median home listing price in San Diego, the cheapest of the four California cities for the period.


According to the California Association of Realtors, the median sold price of a single-family home earlier this year in San Francisco was $1.65 million; $528,550 in Los Angeles; $635,000 in San Diego; and $1,425,000 in San Jose’s Santa Clara County.

Las Vegas, New York and Phoenix are the top destinations for coastal Californians finding new jobs in cheaper markets, according to U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by the real estate site Trulia.
Las Vegas, New York and Phoenix are the top destinations for coastal Californians finding new jobs in cheaper markets, according to U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by the real estate site Trulia. (Trulia)

Close behind Las Vegas was New York, with 7.3 percent and Phoenix with 7 percent. The rest of the top 10 in order were: Dallas, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago and Denver. Trulia grouped those destinations into large metropolitan areas (New York, Chicago and Atlanta), “less expensive Sun Belt markets” (Las Vegas and Phoenix) and “high job-growth centers” (Seattle, Denver, Dallas and Portland).

A UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies study from September 2017 found more than half of California voters surveyed had considered moving, and one in four said if they did move, it would be out of state.

That finding was echoed in a poll from the Bay Area Council released Sunday that found approximately 46 percent of Bay Area voters are ready to leave the Bay Area within the next few years. That poll found 52 percent of millennials were considering moving out of the Bay Area, up from 46 percent in 2017.

The Bay Area Council poll found that of the 461 registered voters who said they plan to leave, 24 percent said they’ll move elsewhere in California, while 61 percent said they would search out of state.

Last fall, Gov. Jerry Brown signed 15 bills designed to help the state work its way out of its affordable housing crisis. But earlier this year, a bill by Democraic state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco that would’ve required high-density housing be built near transit died in the state Legislature.

Trulia also tried to tackle the bigger question of whether there’s a mass exodus of people leaving California for cheaper pastures. It did this by comparing the ratio of people using its site to search for these four high-priced California cities and people in those cities searching for listings outside the state.

Of the four cities, only San Diego received more inbound than outbound searches, but it was also the only city with a recent trend of more people looking to leave than to come.


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