further extends one of this blog’s themes — the eroding quality of life caused by the housing bubble.
Simply not content with destroying their own state, Californians are descending on Nevada and destroying their quality of life. And why not? We’ve been doing it to Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Idaho. I know it’s not “politically correct” to say it and I’m not making any friends by doing so. Here’s an idea, one we should have learned in kindergarten: clean up your own mess.
Nevada…has long been a magnet for Golden State refugees fleeing what they see as an eroding quality of life amid growing congestion, burdensome business regulations and high costs. But increasing numbers of Bay Area residents like the Dunns and the Barbers have had an extra incentive to head east: large sums of real estate equity.
“The California housing market diaspora has transformed the West, and it’s moving to different midtier and even larger metro areas,” says Robert Lang, an urban planning expert at the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech.
Reno stands on the front lines of a migration of affluence that has also affected such places as Boise, Idaho; Phoenix; and Portland, Ore., where home prices are rocketing and new ideas and businesses are taking root as newcomers buy houses that are bargains by Bay Area standards.
Although much of the windfall from rising house prices has been spent on everything from college educations and cars to kitchen renovations and European vacations, many people have simply cashed out and started over.
While couples like the Allisons seem content to retreat from the Bay Area to live in dream mansions, for others the migration to Reno represents a fantasy of a different sort: the first rung of the homeownership ladder that is all but unreachable in the Bay Area for middle-class families without sizable assets for a down payment.
A recent study by the Public Policy Institute of California found that high housing costs are forcing one-third of state residents between the ages of 18 and 34 to ponder a move from their region or out of the state.
Many of the reasons newcomers enjoy Reno sound familiar to anyone attracted to the Bay Area: the natural beauty, proximity to great hiking and skiing, good airport service. Others sound less familiar: kind people, good schools, a slower pace of life, low or nonexistent taxes, the state’s conservative political bent and, of course, less expensive homes.
Some complain that there are few good wine stores, places to buy organic meats and vegetables, and even fewer dining choices. Shopping is hardly a strong suit, either: Earlier this year, Bay Area transplants were abuzz about the mere possibility that Nordstroms would open its first store in the area.
..some longtime Reno residents have bemoaned the “Californication” of their city, a vague notion that wherever California refugees mass, they bring unwanted attention and traffic, wacky political ideas and, on some level, an in-your-face affluence that spoils a pristine area.
I am a chemical engineering graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno so I feel I have to say something here.
These California migrants are bringing increased housing costs with them, but they are not bringing increased job opportunities for middle class people. A common complaint of young people in Reno is that the area has dramatically increasing housing costs but the job opportunities and pay levels have not improved enough to match. The real reason for anti-California sentiment is this: they increase housing costs but do not increase job opportunites and thereby reduce the standard of living of local young people.
I expect that Reno is especially vulnerable to a price crash because local wages simply do not support the $399K median house price than Reno now has. Without the continuous flow of California bubble equity, I expect that Reno cannot support house prices much above $250K.
Just another perspective. This housing boom screws us young people.