State Watch

More than half of Bay Area residents plan to leave permanently: poll

More than half of the residents living in the San Francisco Bay Area say they are considering moving out of the area permanently, according to a poll from Joint Venture Silicon Valley released Monday.

The survey of voters in five Bay Area Counties found that 56 percent of respondents said they were likely to leave the region within “the next few years,” a higher percentage than in any of the think tank’s previous polling.

A separate 44 percent said they were unlikely to leave, with 14 percent of these people saying they want to move but could not.

Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, told The San Francisco Chronicle that the issue comes down to the costs of housing.

“It’s housing, stupid,” Hancock told the newspaper. “That is driving almost all of the results we see in this poll.”

Among those who were likely to leave, 84 percent cited the cost of living as a major reason, 77 percent specifically cited high housing costs and 62 percent cited the quality of life.

Forty-eight percent of respondents said the region was headed in the right direction, while 52 percent said it was on the wrong track. Seventy-one percent thought the quality of life is worse now than it was five years ago.

But despite the problems, 71 percent said the Bay Area was still a good place to pursue a career. Fifty-six percent rated the region as good or excellent to grow up, and 46 percent said it was a good or excellent place to raise a family.

The poll was conducted by Embold Research and surveyed 1,610 registered voters in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, San Francisco and Contra Costa counties from Sept. 21 to 26. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Tags Bay Area California Housing costs Polling residents San Francisco
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