Monday, February 27, 2006

North Bay Exodus in the Works?

According to this Marin IJ article (and this), Marin's so-called 'intangibles' are not enough to keep people from wanting to leave -- 53% of North Bay residents have given serious thought to leaving because the quality of life here has so eroded due to such things as egregious housing prices, horrendous traffic, etc. Maybe that explains the recent rapid increase in Marin's housing inventory.

Some choice quotes:
Fifty-three percent of those polled in Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties said clogged freeways and sky-high home prices have them thinking about the color of the grass on the other side of the East Bay hills, according to the survey conducted by the Bay Area Council.

The "epidemic" of high-cost homes has spread like wildfire across the Golden State, north to south, west to east. And a healthy percentage of those with itchy feet point to local government as being the source of their discontent. "Many residents are ready to squarely point the finger at their own city or town," the council says. "Only 5 percent think their own city is doing an excellent job encouraging affordable housing. Whereas 67 percent give their town a grade of very poor, poor, or fair."

Dissatisfaction with local government is higher in the North Bay than elsewhere. Throughout the Bay Area, according to the survey, 35.6 percent say they feel their local governments are doing a "fair" job, whereas in the North Bay the percentage is 37.8 percent. Bay Area-wide, 9.9 percent said they feel the job done is "very poor," compared to 12.1 percent in the North Bay.

Peter Richmond, of Pacific Union Real Estate Group in Mill Valley, said he had heard of people moving out of Marin because they no longer wanted to cope with traffic and housing cost.
"The housing crisis has continued, without pause, through economic upturns and downturns," he said. "If we are to affect it, it will require major legislation in Sacramento."

22 Comments:

Blogger Marinite said...

reskeptic, if you're lurking, now might be a good time to show us your population change statistics.

Feb 27, 2006, 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

Yes, I'm never too far off. :-)
Here are the stats I've found for '00-04 around the bay area. Has anyone seen stats for '05?

Feb 27, 2006, 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger moonvalley said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Feb 27, 2006, 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger moonvalley said...

this is what I've found, is it what you're looking for?
2005

Feb 27, 2006, 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

Moonvalley: Thanks!

Here are the numbers from that source for Marin, comparing 1/1/04 to 1/1/05, and % change:

MARIN County 251,330 252,485 0.5
BELVEDERE 2,139 2,132 -0.3
CORTE MADERA 9,402 9,378 -0.3
FAIRFAX 7,333 7,309 -0.3
LARKSPUR 12,047 12,014 -0.3
MILL VALLEY 13,682 13,686 0.0
NOVATO 49,614 50,586 2.0
ROSS 2,356 2,349 -0.3
SAN ANSELMO 12,398 12,385 -0.1
SAN RAFAEL 57,182 57,224 0.1
SAUSALITO 7,366 7,374 0.1
TIBURON 8,805 8,772 -0.4
BALANCE OF COUNTY 69,006 69,276 0.4

Feb 27, 2006, 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

Apparently, only Novato is appealing to all those shorts wearing golfers and driver/skiers.

Also - what are the wage growth (or not) figures over the same time period in the Bay Area?

Probably not pretty.

So - taken together - it could be said that in Marin over the last six years people have left, of those who remain their wage growth is flat (or down), and houses have what? Doubled? At least doubled? Tripled?

Feb 27, 2006, 1:42:00 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

"...houses have what? Doubled? At least doubled? Tripled?"

Comparing houses bought at the bubble's beginning, relisted in '05, a common multiple I saw was 2.4-2.7X.

Feb 27, 2006, 1:52:00 PM  
Anonymous by_palladium said...

Exodus?

I am one who is pining away while wanting to leave, but something doesn't add up.

Does anyone really think that the population of the county will really go down?

How can it when the houses that the emigrants leave behind are filled by someone. Maybe a few families have children that grow up and move out, but in this economy, I see adult children returning home to live with parents.

So, unless some of the POSs dissolve into the dust (which is admittedly a possibility), I am not sure how the population of the county can really be reduced.

Thanks again Marinite, by excepting the IJ, it saves me from having to read the local rag. Life is too short for that.

Feb 28, 2006, 8:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marin is mostly built-out. There really are very few buildable lots left. I keep hearing about how "crowded" marin has become. I've lived (and commuted) here since 1972. For the most part, I don't see it. I do see the commute to Sonoma increasing due to the growth there. But to the city from Marin it has increased only slightly IMO. This is one of the reasons Marin is such a great place to live!!

Mar 1, 2006, 10:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember during the last real estate downturn (late 80's to early 90's), All the media was hyping the exodus from the Bay Area to places like Oregon, Texas, etc. For pretty much the same reasons it's beginning again today. I even had a few friends who left. In all cases these friends eventually realized you may get a nicer or bigger house in these areas, but there's more to life than four (or more) walls. They ALL wanted to move back to Marin! But, alas, they had given up their stake here and it was too late. They now live in franchise world.

Mar 1, 2006, 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I keep hearing about how "crowded" marin has become."

Well, for myself: the reality is apparent any morning I drive out from San Anselmo to 101.

"They ALL wanted to move back to Marin! "

Right. There's more to living than 4+ walls--even if those blessed walls are located in Marin. And, not all living/career options to Marin resemble Tulsa, Oklahoma. No offense meant, but this is a prevalent SF BA conceit: the rest of the world is an armpit; how lucky we are! Personally, I could list at least a dozen metro areas that meet or beat Marin in terms of environment, infrastructure, schools, and oh yeah: they're cheaper to live. Just a few possible "intangibles" to the population trends posted above.

Mar 1, 2006, 1:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt there are places that have good roads, schools, shopping centers, etc. We live in a great country! I'm certainly coming from my own perspective, but I have travelled quite a bit and I'm always glad to come home! Many times in my travels I run into people who live here now or have lived in the Bay Area. I hear a very common theme; they would never leave or if they did, they want to come back "someday".

Mar 1, 2006, 4:41:00 PM  
Anonymous rejunkie said...

No offense meant, but this is a prevalent SF BA conceit: the rest of the world is an armpit; how lucky we are! Personally, I could list at least a dozen metro areas that meet or beat Marin in terms of environment, infrastructure, schools

Cool. Name them.

Mar 1, 2006, 7:32:00 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Mar 1, 2006, 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

This thread has entered the bizzaro world

Mar 2, 2006, 9:24:00 AM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Mar 2, 2006, 9:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

marinite....is it "bizzaro" because you disagree with it perhaps?

Mar 2, 2006, 2:47:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

No, it's bizzaro because people are who chose to live here are being challenged to justify why they like it or why they think it is nicer than some other place.

I'd appreciate not having words put into my mouth thanks.

Mar 2, 2006, 3:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the reasons Marin is such a great place to live!!

No, it's bizzaro because people are who chose to live here are being challenged to justify why they like it or why they think it is nicer than some other place.

Well, to be fair--the same could be said about those challenged to justify their opinion that locations outside Marin/SF Bay could possibly be better in terms of costs/infrastructure/culture/whatever. At some point, it all becomes subjective, yet certainly the Marin "intangibles" argument bears scrutiny, since it continues to be an argument for the local boom, and sustained prices through a possible "correction". I enjoy living in Marin, but I still try to entertain all the possible angles on this issue.

Mar 2, 2006, 6:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://marin4all.com/

Mar 2, 2006, 9:05:00 PM  
Blogger backstairs said...

My daddy can beat up your daddy. Nya nya

Mar 2, 2006, 10:29:00 PM  
Anonymous rejunkie said...

At some point, it all becomes subjective, yet certainly the Marin "intangibles" argument bears scrutiny, since it continues to be an argument for the local boom, and sustained prices through a possible "correction"

Totally agree. And many people make blanket statements about how other places are better than here and that our intangibles are overvalued, which is quite possible. Having lived in 4 countries and spent extended periods in Seattle, Denver, Albany, NY, New York City, Boston, Tampa, Salt Lake City, Washington DC, Houston, Madison, WI and Minneapolis I have not found anywhere I like better than here. If I were way into ice-fishing or snowmobiling (or a Mormon), I might feel differently so it is very personal. So the conceit cuts both ways -- just as the Marin boosters get slammed for their conceit, those that dis Marin need to start citing examples.

Since this topic seems to come up again and again and to those who claim there is better quality of life elsewhere (ignoring RE prices for the moment), I ask again: where are these Shangri-La's?

Mar 3, 2006, 11:54:00 AM  

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