Are California’s Real Estate Troubles Now Crossing State Lines

With home prices rising and inventory dwindling in California, most families are priced out of the neighborhoods in which they want to live and with many native Californians’ feeling this affordability squeeze, they’re looking to markets completely out of state, which is putting similar pressure on regions across state lines.

Specifically, Oregon is feeling the pressure as Californians seeking an escape from long commutes and cramped San Francisco apartments look to the northwest state for its more laid-back lifestyle and more affordable housing. Chris Hawkins, a 47 year-old from Marin County, CA, sold his San Francisco apartment and moved to Eugene, OR, with his wife and two kids in March. He paid $550,000 cash last October for his 5,000 square-foot home, something that would have cost him three times as much in California. “That would have been our down payment on a Bay Area house,” he said. “And I would have still had to pay a $1 million mortgage.”

Real estate prices in the Portland region are climbing, and some out-of-state cash buyers are putting the squeeze on locals. Some locals are reacting by taking resentment out on Californians who are moving in. Real-estate agents in Portland found many “For Sale” signs on homes slapped with “no Californians” stickers, a silhouette of the Golden State in black with a red circle and slash through it, according to the Oregonian newspaper of Portland. Oregon agent Quinn Irvine said, “A lot of these homes are going into bidding wars.” He went on to say the issue stems in large part from a 10-year low in the number of homes for sale in the region, which has led to many people getting outbid. He thinks upset Oregonians are putting anti-Californian stickers on signs of agents who have properties that have sold over asking price.

As word of the “No Californians” stickers went viral, Oregonians and San Franciscans soon had at it on the Internet. One comment from an Oregon resident: “Californians are going to turn Portland in to San Francisco 2.0” was retorted with “They don’t have to worry about me moving to Oregon. There’s no San Francisco there. Besides, plaid flannel makes me look fat.” by a Bay Area resident.

However, this all just may be another incident in the long tradition of blaming California for gentrification or “Californication” of Oregon. But what is apparent is that Californians are really feeling the pressure of rising home prices in their native state and are looking to more affordable areas outside the Golden State.

What can be done to keep native residents in California and have current buyers on the market for a new home keep their sights on inventory inside state lines? We’d love to hear from you.

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