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It’s true: people have been fleeing San Francisco since the onset of the pandemic.
But while tech luminaries like Elon Musk or Keith Rabois might be migrating to Texas and Florida, it seems that’s not the case for most Bay Area residents.
Instead, they’re moving to suburbia.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s J.K. Dineen combed through United States Postal Service data from March to November and found that 80,371 households departed the city during that period, a 77% increase from 2019. But the data showed that most of households leaving San Francisco didn’t go very far.
According to the Chronicle, the top six destinations were Alameda, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and Sonoma, all nearby Bay Area counties. The only two destinations outside of California in the top 20 were Austin and Denver — 239 and 238 households, respectively, moved to those areas, the Chronicle reported.
The Chronicle’s findings highlight a shift away from expensive, crowded city living during the pandemic. In August, Insider’s Katie Canales reported that housing inventory in San Francisco was up 96% compared to the year prior as residents listed their homes in droves.
That rush to leave the city coincided with a shift in how many companies value in-office work: companies like Twitter, Square, and Slack announced that employees could work remotely on a permanent basis, while others, like Facebook, are allowing employees to relocate with manager approval.
But it seems that even though many residents may have used the pandemic as an opportunity to leave the city, they didn’t move outside of commuting distance, upending the popular theory that the majority of those who left San Francisco moved to an entirely new state — a theory likely driven by a string of high-profile executives publicly leaving the region.
Last year, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk publicly decamped for Texas from California after sparring with lawmakers during state-mandated coronavirus lockdowns. Musk said on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast this month that he thinks Austin, Texas, will become “the biggest boomtown that America has seen in 50 years, at least,” describing the influx as a “megaboom.”
Dropbox CEO Drew Houston has also reportedly moved to Austin; Douglas Merritt, the CEO of software company Splunk, is heading to the Texas city, The Information reported; and Joe Lonsdale, the cofounder of Palantir who currently runs venture capital firm 8VC, already lives in Austin with his family and confirmed last year that he is moving his firm there too.
And last year, Software giant Oracle announced it would move its headquarters from the Bay Area to Austin as well.
Denver and Miami have also been praised by newly minted Silicon Valley expats. Palantir moved its headquarters to Denver following CEO Alex Karp’s complaints that the Bay Area has a “monoculture,” and famed investor Keith Rabois has been a strong proponent of Miami, telling Fortune that San Francisco is too improperly run for him to stay.
Still, …read more
Source:: Business Insider