The Silicon Valley Exodus

June 3, 2018 Last Updated: June 3, 2018

People from the South Bay are moving faster than newcomers are entering. For many, housing and finances are at the center of their decision to move.

Jeff Heuser is one. He has lived 40 years in the Bay Area, and so, he says, “It’s an emotional decision. But for me, there was a line that was approaching. For me, it was evaluating the value I get out of my HOA dues, the value I get out of my property tax, and what happens with that money.” Eventually, maintaining and continuing to live in his South Bay home was no longer worth it. For Kendrick Glynn, another soon-to-be ex-resident, finances also played a role. “If you want to save, it’s tough to save here.”

According to Realtor.com, Northern California counties dominate the top five places out of which people are moving. They are:

      1. Santa Clara
      2. San Mateo
      3. Los Angeles
      4. Napa
      5. Monterey

Only Los Angeles falls outside Northern California boundaries. Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), says that “the numbers aren’t huge, but it is a huge shift.” About 42 people per month are leaving. With the exodus, demographics are changing as well. Sandra Jamison, Tuscana Properties realtor and owner, says that “the majority of the people moving into the area are foreign nationals, from India, Vietnam, and China.”

Although there was a 29 percent increase in jobs between 2010 and 2016, there was only a 4 percent increase in housing. Now, the area has begun building more housing. But the housing people like Heuser leave behind will also help newcomers find desirable housing. For Heuser and others like him, moving to a place with a lower cost of living may make things easier. “When I leave, I’ll have a little bit of a cushion, that then I can pay cash,” he says. Jesse Gary points out that “That’s the other side of the equation.” When Californians move elsewhere, they raise the economic bar there, as well.