Fed up with the Bay Area's high housing costs, 46% of residents say they plan to move elsewhere soon — up from 40% last year and 34% in 2016. That's according to the 2018 Bay Area Council survey, which suggests that the Bay Area exodus is getting even more dire.
When asked why they want to leave, 42% of residents said rising housing prices (a big jump from 28% last year). Eighteen percent cited traffic and congestion, 14% said poverty and homelessness, and 12% said living costs. Census data shows that net migration to the Bay Area peaked in 2014 and has been declining every year since.
As Business Insider's Melia Robinson has reported, researchers have been concerned about a mass departure from the Bay Area for some time. Earlier in 2018, the real-estate site Redfin found that San Francisco lost more residents than any other US city in the last quarter of 2017.
A new report from the same team may suggest where Bay Area residents could be moving. Redfin analyzed searches from more than 1 million users looking for homes across 75 metro areas from January to March 2018.
According to the study, the highest share of users (20.7%) searching for homes elsewhere came from Bay Area IP addresses. The top-searched destination for these users was Sacramento, California, and the top out-of-state destination was Seattle, Washington. San Franciscans also considered Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and Las Vegas, Nevada.
RELATED: Check out the states where Americans pay the highest income taxes:
States where Americans pay the highest in state income taxes
All five of these metro areas generally have lower housing costs than the Bay Area, where the median price of a home recently hit a record high of $820,000. In Las Vegas, meanwhile, residents could find a home for just $252,000.
Seattle — home to Microsoft and Amazon — is a slightly less expensive city than San Francisco, and has seen an influx of tech workers in the past decade. Seattle is not immune to high housing costs, however. From 2005 to 2015, Seattle's median rent went from $1,008 to $1,286, an increase nearly three times the national median.
Recent data also shows Seattle's median home price hit $777,000 in February — $20,000 more than the previous all-time high set a month prior. According to Redfin, Seattle residents looking to leave mostly searched for homes in areas that are more affordable and less competitive, like Phoenix, Arizona, and Chicago, Illinois.
The Bay Area, considered the nation's tech capital, could also lose top tech workers if they can't afford to live there — even on six-figure salaries.