Those of you who lived in California during the early 1990s no doubt remember the exodus of friends and associates to other states such as Nevada, Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Some people said that this meant the end for California -- that it would no longer be able to compete due to high taxes, an anti-business environment and high housing prices. What it DID mean were some great buying opportunities for those who were patient enough to wait until the next boom.
For those who left the state, many moved back when the housing market improved, in large part because they missed the entertainment, cultural and restaurant options here. Oh, sure, you might save a bundle by moving to Carson City, Nevada, but once you get used to your lower house payment, then what? Knitting circles? Strip Monopoly?
Well, apparently it's happening again, and this Wall Street Journal article concludes it's due to the declining housing market:
Population growth in several of the fastest-growing states is slowing -- in Arizona, Florida and Nevada, in particular -- in a trend both reflecting and fueling the housing-market malaise in those areas. "This is our first chance to see what has been the migration impact of the housing-market slowdown, and it's showing up in these highflying states," says William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
The Census Bureau's annual estimate of state population changes covers the 12 months that ended July 1. It shows that people continue to flee the Midwest -- especially Michigan, one of two states to lose people -- and that the Mountain states in the West continue to post large population gains as people arrive from California and elsewhere...In the most recent period, 263,035 people left California for another state. The state's 0.8% population growth was mostly because of births.
Still, because of California's huge population base, it still added over 300,000 new residents, mostly due to new births. That will continue to mean demand for larger homes and/or new households, which will help the state work off its inventory load faster than many other states. Of course this will vary considerably by area, with the inland areas taking much longer to reach supply-demand equilibrium.