San Francisco Exodus Could Spur A Renaissance

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Real Estate

It's no secret that there has been a recent exodus in San Francisco. While many young residents in the high paying tech jobs are leaving the Bay Area due to stay at home orders, reprioritization of work/life balance and so many other factors that have made the beautiful City By the Bay not so desirable, many are moving to the North Bay to take advantage of this unique time in our history.

While high paying mega-employers like Tesla, Hewlett Packard, and most recently Oracle are moving to Austin, we also have companies like Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Airbnb and many others who have embraced the work-at-home practices. This has resulted in San Francisco posting the biggest rent drop for a one bedroom apartment in the entire country - down 23% as of January. Likewise, our city streets are no longer congested, commutes are typically lighter and those outdoor spaces we all cherish are free from masses of tourists from around the globe. Those who struggled to afford tour high rents have moved on to more affordable cities like Austin, Seattle, New York, Portland, Chicago, Denver - in that order. 

I would argue that this 'SF Exodus' is exactly what Marin County needs. We long-time residents should embrace the singles and younger families that are moving into our suburban neighborhoods, for it helps us more generally more mature, typically white and maybe more financially established remember why we chose to call Marin our home. It feels safe, the air is clean, the proximity to natural beauty, and a detachment to the stress that accompanies urban existence. And with the lockdowns, who wants to be locked in an expensive apartment when there are better alternatives? I've spoken to many recent SF-to-Marin transplants and am encouraged by the energy new home buyers are bringing to Marin. 

And with a new administration, we have a real chance to make some needed changes to the city we all still want to love. In a recent article, SF Examiner writer Robyn Purchia, offered that "since 2016, San Francisco has set numerous environmental policies and goals, such as efforts to reduce waste from large residential buildings and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. These policies created jobs and helped develop a local green economy. Now that the White House is no longer openly hostile to the planet, innovative and determined San Franciscans may be able to accomplish even more. Solutions pioneered in the Bay Area can reduce waste, reimagine meat, improve energy efficiency and transform atmospheric carbon into building materials, all while putting people to work. With government support and necessary regulation to level the playing field, these solutions should grow and be able to compete with existing industries. That’s capitalism at its best."

During the new administration, San Franciscans can build on it's creative spirit to help the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But businesses and policymakers should keep equity in mind. The green economy cannot thrive if only the privileged reap the benefits. Any work must include making jobs with living wages more accessible, services more affordable, and healthy food and water more available.

While nobody would ever argue this pandemic is a 'good thing' I for one am looking forward to a greener, cleaner, more affordable Bay Area and a younger population in Marin County. I hope you agree and are inspired to participate. If you have questions about home ownership in Marin County, please give me a call! Tracy Curtis, Coldwell Banker Realty, 415-910 0599. 

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