Over the last decade, the Legislative Analyst’s Office report said, the state added about 100,000 residents with household incomes of $120,000 or higher. About 85% of these higher-income earners moved to the Bay Area counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara.
But California’s soaring real estate costs also have sent many residents fleeing to more affordable regions. The three-member Bailey family moved to Prosper, Texas, in 2017, seeking a reprieve from Southern California’s high price tags. Marie Bailey and her husband, Scott, owned a home in Orange County and rented a place in El Segundo to be closer to Scott’s workplace in Santa Monica.
“To buy a house there [El Segundo] is insane,” Marie Bailey said. “It’s like $1 million. Why are we working our butts off for a fixer-upper in El Segundo? We’re just working, working, working — and for what?”