Sunday, February 17, 2019

California out-streaming

I was looking at Census estimates for 2018 this morning (I know, I know, but I also took a nice walk first), and saw that after seven years of positive in-migration of 50,000 per year, we in California had net outmigration of 38,000 between 2017 and 2018.  This reduces the pressure on the housing market by ~ 30,000 units, or 3-4 months of production at current levels.  Some thoughts:

(1) This doubtless explains why the housing market is slowing (and I am sticking with my call of a small price reduction over the next few years).

(2) Perhaps this reflects a tipping point--we have just become too expensive as a state, regardless of the economic productivity here.

(3) Perhaps also this reflects that policy hostility toward immigrants is really mattering.  California has long had domestic outmigration, but had more than enough foreign migration to make up for it.  This is no longer true.

It is particularly striking that this is happening at a time when there are lots of jobs in California.

Here is the site from which to download migration data. . Looks at annual components of changes and cumulative components of change.

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