Why are people leaving? After all, according to popular "expert" opinion, we have reached the stage of 'housing nirvana' here in California. So why are people leaving? Duh! Because of the outrageous cost of housing. What else? I don't give a rat's arse about how enlightened and delightfully progressive we think our state laws are or how special we think we are. When people leave and take their families with them, then you know that there is something broken in the system; no doubt we the voting populace broke it by voting in our self-interested and cognitive dissonance-reducing NIMBYist agendas (e.g., here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).
Fortunately, we are not at crisis levels yet. Unfortunately, that means no one will so much as lift a finger to deal with the problem or even acknowledge that a problem exists. But come on, be honest. Is this normal? Is this what we want? Do we really have to wait until it becomes a crisis before we start talking about it? Do we really have to hope that "market forces" will correct the problem? Frankly, the way houses are bought and sold is biased towards increasing in price so I really don't see how "market forces" are going to fix this problem long-term. I mean, just look at where these exalted market forces have led us to today!
To my mind the solution is to remove the profit incentive from buying and selling houses and/or to make speculation in housing so difficult that no one would want to do it. But I'm just a 'crazed prophet' after all so here are some ideas that readers of this blog shared.
Some choice quotes:
Over the last seven years, nearly 400 students have left the public school rosters in Santa Barbara. Enrollment in this wealthy, Spanish-tiled coastal haven has dropped as steadily as home prices have risen. It is a trend expected to continue as the median home price pushes past $1 million.It is also a trend that increasingly appears to be occurring across California.This housing bubble in California put's a whole new twist on the bumper sticker (once popular here in the Bay Area) that read "Welcome to California, Now Go Home". Yes, welcome to California. But if you are thinking about moving here, well, think again. You are probably better off calling someplace else home.
Public schools circling downtown Los Angeles are losing students as their neighborhoods gentrify. A similar shift is underway in the Bay Area, Sacramento and Los Angeles, and Orange and Ventura counties. Statewide, public school enrollment was down slightly this year, for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century. And though officials aren't quite sure of all the reasons behind the drop, they are sure that the cost of housing is one of them...
In the 2005-06 school year, statewide school enrollment dropped for the first time in 24 years. There were 6,313,103 pupils enrolled, a decline of about 10,000 from the previous year, according to state Department of Education records.
She said several factors could contribute, including local job losses, changes in migration patterns and lower fertility rates. But a major trigger, analysts say, is the state's sky-high housing market. Student losses appear to be highest in high-cost coastal regions, especially around Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Housing prices in those regions are among the highest in the state, analysts note...
..."It wasn't that long ago that we couldn't build schools fast enough," said Hans Johnson, a demographer at the San Francisco-based Public Policy Institute of California. "Now we've switched to which schools to close."