It's possible people are still typically moving from wealthier to poorer areas (e.g. from Manhattan to Dallas), but we'd need more specific data than state-level flows to conclude that.
Might have something to do with the aging population and baby boomers retiring. When you stop working, you no longer need to migrate to where the jobs are. Surprised the article didn't mention this.
Why struggle, working 16 hour days to move up in a career so you can afford the $700k 2000 sq ft home on a postage stamp sized property in a so-so part of town when you can move to Arkansas, work at a remote development shop and afford a $350k 4000 sq ft home in a gated community with and acre and a half of wooded property with an in-ground pool?
That's a pretty big strawman. There are tons of other options for someone , and not all of us and our families need 4000 sq ft (or even 2000 sq ft) and 1.5 acres of property to be happy. I like living in densely populated areas rather than the equivalent of a personal ivory tower.
I think that American dream of owning a big house with a huge amount of property has done more harm than good.
Lots of people ask themselves similar questions, but with different metrics.
- Why live in an old 400 sq ft efficiency with exposed ductwork and pipes <80th st. Manhattan when I can live 15 minutes away in Williamsburg and have a modern 2 bedroom for the same price?
- Why live in SF, making below market wages working for some startup, renting a bedroom in some guy's basement, when I could live in a deluxe 3rd floor walkup in Sunnyvale?
- Why live in either place when I can take a dev job near Miami and enjoy round the year sun and beach, own a house and have a better cost of living anyway?
I'm not saying I agree with these questions, or the motivations behind them. But then again, I live in a very walkable, high service suburb instead of the nearest big metro area also. But I'd just as happily live in a small 2 br in NY. I grew up pretty rural and remember asking myself questions like
- Why do I have to spend 2+ hours a day driving to/from work every day?
- Wouldn't it be nice if I could live in a place where I could walk 5-10 minutes to get any of my basic services taken care of?
- Wouldn't it be great to live in a place where I simply didn't need a car?
- I'd like to have more people nearby to associate with.
So I get the desire both ways.
For example, in my area, there's a sizable development that was built during the 50s and 60s. The average home is under 2000 sq ft and pretty nice for the time (lots of split levels). 3 or 4 bedroom etc. Lots are .25 to .5 acre. But being older homes you can't, for example, fit a king bed in any of those homes. Or modern bathrooms, where 2 people can get ready in the morning at the same time don't exist there. You might be able to cram a grand piano into one of the larger basements, with nothing else, or replace the family room with it in a tight squeeze.
The crime rate is up in this area, and last year a woman was found chopped up and stuffed into a set of suitcases that were dumped behind some dumpsters at the nearest McDonalds. Schools are old and run down, they just shut down the last remaining library, there's 1 public pool and though shopping is plentiful, it's all a 15-20 minute drive away.
The next area over was built in the early 2000s during the boom and the town houses start at 2400 sq ft. It's almost insane. A smaller single family with a finished basement starts at around 3200 sq ft and the average size is pushing up on 4000 sq ft. Lots are about .25 acre.
The difference in price between the two locations is $0 for the town houses and about $100-150 for the smaller single-family.
I'd also add that the schools in the newer area are all new and very nice, shopping is better, there's convenient walking to local town centers, public transport to the metro system and the nearest cities. The neighborhoods are all fiber internet have in-neighborhood police/fire "public safety centers", several neighborhood pools and plentiful community activities -- among other amenities.
So all things being equal, you may not be happier with the larger home, but it doesn't hurt, and the neighborhood is a lot nicer.
As for me, my wife and I work together. She's my partner on most of my crazy business schemes, and we are in agreement about the move to the high desert area. We are moving to a house with solar panels (and battery storage) and trucked in water and gas. So, it's completely off the grid. I am still trying to figure out the internet, so far it looks like I'll be VPNing through a t-mobile phone ;)
I think once we have kids, we would have about 3 year grace period to get our act together. You can raise a 3 year old anywhere, but once they are older you really do need to worry about things like schools, playgrounds, kid friendly neighborhoods, and all those things. We intend to come back to San Diego in the end, no matter what.
If I were in his position, I would've waited for Google Fiber to launch in Austin (this year) and then moved there, or just moved now into an area that's going to get Google Fiber. It's a much nicer city - a lot of young people thanks to UT Austin (meaning a good dating scene), vibrant downtown culture, and a strong ecosystem of tech companies and startups (for a city that's not SF, NY, Boston or Seattle, anyway).
It was very strange to see a large, metropolitan city, on Tuesday, during daytime, around noon, completely and utterly empty. As if a zombi apocalypse rolled through and everyone was killed. That is Downtown Kansas City. I am not even kidding, I have pictures somewhere.
Right, Provo is another option. But my distaste for warm climates is only eclipsed by my distaste for religion, particularly fundamentalist ones like Mormonism. Provo is home to BYU and the largest Missionary Training Center for the LDS church. I don't mind religious people too much if they keep to themselves, but I can only imagine how often you would get accosted in public in Provo by "missionaries in training" trying to practice their "pitch". I'd be willing to tolerate the heat in Austin if it meant avoiding that.
Real estate right now is basically Satan. Anything that can be done to break real estate markets is good.
That's really not fair in my opinion. You could say the same about the wealthy. I grew up in relative poverty in a wealthy environment and I really would say that character deficits can be found in the same percentages across the board. The difference may be that the wealthy don't have a need to expose their desperation in such public ways and if you're thinking of things like thievery and drug abuse you may be seeing things through a certain lens (not to assume anything about you personally).
I can't quite remember that saying about pots and kettles. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
"I’ve seen people put up donation pages to help them buy PS3s or a House and random strangers donated. So I figured what do I have to lose in asking the following: Are you a bitcoin billionaire? Have a fraction of a bitcoin to spare? Help a designer out and send them my way: 15XeyenVEmfYsL2wBF3PrTZhRtMCbvQ2DR"
My god. Look at you calling poor people filth while begging for money. I changed my mind: I really hope my neighborhood has priced you out.
So I'd be curious to know how the survey was conducted, and whether it included families immigrating to the US.
In my county, Alameda, Ca., 30% of residents were born outside the US. That's a very strong immigration level and bound to affect the housing prices and keep demand and prices strong.
The numbers don't lie: there is a significantly decreased supply of houses for sale compared to previous years. This is the only thing propping the still-inflated housing prices up, courtesy of the bullshit government policy of obsessing over people acquiring huge amounts of debt for "the American dream" (whatever the fuck that is).
My twin brother and his wife recently bought into the wonderful northern Virginia (dc suburb) housing bubble. They are now paying a mortgage on a $500,000 duplex, ignoring the fact that they are paying more to borrow the money to own the house than they would have paid to just borrow the house (aka rent it). The difference is high enough that investing the savings of renting over mortgage in the stock market would far outstrip any value they will get from the home in even optimistic house price inflation scenarios.
Me? My family of 4 (i'm the sole breadwinner) are renting, and I'm now considering excellent job offers in other states and cities, with no concern of a bank-forged chain to prevent me from moving to a better life.
The money an individual or a family has to spend is limited. For most, the rent is their single biggest expense: the less one makes, the more one has to give up (in terms of money that would go to savings, basic necessities, or food/entertainment) to live in a more desirable place.
Given that income distributions even with some amount of redistribution will still follow a power curve, it is quite possible that certain highly desirable areas -- themselves on a power curve of desirability -- might see great population growth, but -- on the whole -- the movement would not be to those areas. That is, unless, the supply of housing in those ares can keep up with the demand.
Prices are really pretty incredible. Here are charts for Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View and a couple of others. What is astonishing is that these are communities with 50,000 - 100,000 residents. Not small enclaves. Yet the 'median' price exceeds $2,000,000 in Los Altos: http://www.siliconvalleymls.info/blog/
On a national, inflation adjusted basis, prices are about where they were at a peak in 1990: http://www.jparsons.net/housingbubble/
So at least here in the valley, the homes are currently being purchased at incredible prices by wealthy immigrants and newly-minted millionaire-techies.
It has been a fairly common occurrence that people who have owned homes in Silicon Valley for many years reach retirement age and cash out. Then move to Oregon, Arizona, Reno or just further inland, and live well.
Housing has a few problems. One is that it's price inelastic. If you destroyed 5% of the housing in Manhattan, prices and rents would at least double, and possibly go up 4-10x. We know this because of the 9/11 Boom (which was actually fueled by speculators anticipating future supply destruction-- which, thankfully, never came). It's counterintuitive, but something that objectively destroys value can (with inelasticity) increase the bulk value of what's out there. If 5% of housing was destroyed and prices doubled, most people would say that the housing market "improved by 90%". Well, no.
Increasing housing prices are, make no mistake, signs of something bad. Supply problems (mostly, rooted in NIMBY regulations) are a big part of what's going wrong. Another issue is that most localities are losing jobs, while a few "star cities" (SF, NYC) win.
The second problem with housing is that, because people are emotional about it, they don't sell when there is cause for prices to go down. They hoard. This negative correlation between price and volume means that housing prices barely drop when they're "supposed to", but drop cataclysmically when the real estate problem starts destroying real wealth (as in 2008) and jobs disappear and foreclosures happen.
Real estate is the blood-engorged cancer of the economy. It's a tax that goes nowhere and anyone who thinks high rents and property prices is good is just on the wrong side.
NIMBYism accounts for a lot because people hate change and people moved somewhere for a specific aesthetic but simple market demand accomplishes a lot.
I live in a medium sized Midwestern city with a burgeoning job market and plenty of restaurants/breweries/nightlife. I have a two bedroom apartment for less than $700/mo and it takes me less than 10 minutes to get downtown at 5pm. Meals for two cost $30 at a local restaurant with local beer. What I make isn't a lot, but it's a good deal over $38,000. That has to exist somewhere else too. I love my city, but I'm looking for new people and cultures (and I'm tired of -25F winters).
Anyway, take a look at Chicago.
Worth noting that this is quickly going away. Traffic is projected to get far, far worse over the next few years at current growth rates and public transit is still very disappointing in comparison to other large cities.
That said I love this city.
Much like Bitcoin and electricity! Your housing is cheap until someone else wants it; then the two of you bid to tie up wealth :)
At this point, I'm not willing to believe that all of the cities with the highest rents also have the highest upward mobility. I'm assuming that they just found the places where the upwardly mobile either 1. moved to or 2. grew up in during the cities' transitions into rich cities from struggling cities (an awful lot of cities went through that transition in the last 50 years.)
That would still be interesting stat, but say nothing about the chances for someone moving into the city now, who would be faced with crippling rents and 3 applicants for every open position.
I think people are moving away from unlivable cites to livable cities, and that there's lots of reverse migration to get closer to extended families. I'm considering the same.
edit: I still can't figure it out, this is the closest I could find - http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/index.php/faq-s. I'll email to find out if they accounted for migration.
Perhaps ideology is getting in the way of thinking. What about cost of living, actual job opening, baby boomers retiring, skills mismatches, cultural preferences, etc.
BTW-Internal migration has actually been studied for more than a century. This recent paper from the Fed has a good survey:
The article shows the right approach in their leading graphics but then ignores it. Show where people renting cheap U-Haul type moving trucks are moving or no-name movers to find out where the bulk of average to lower income and/or young people are moving. That's the trend you want to look at.
Besides good fortune, though, TX did make two good oil & gas decisions that CA didn't, one on purpose and one accidentally: #1, on purpose, to actually have an oil & gas severance tax, like Alaska and Wyoming, but unlike California, which foolishly levies no tax on extraction; and #2, accidentally, to keep some large oil reserves publicly owned, and put them in the hands of the University of Texas system (accidentally because UT was given huge tracts of ranch land before it was known there was oil on it).
ND is expanding in the west to the point it is affecting infrastructure projects in the eastern side of the state. Too few skilled workers to do the projects since most are doing the oil thing.
Some things are awesome, some things aren't:
* Highest percentage of employees at / below minimum wage 
* Highest percentage of uninsured 
* 4th highest poverty rate 
* Lowest percentage of high school graduates 
* 4th most citizens in jails / prisons per capita 
* Most CO2 emissions 
* 6th highest obesity rate 
They have a lot of work to do before I'd consider them awesome (I say this as someone who's spending a lot of time there, and will potentially be relocating with a company there in the near future.)
 - http://www.bls.gov/ro6/fax/minwage_tx.htm
 - http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/total-population/
 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_poverty_...
 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_educatio...
 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_incarcer...
 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_carbon_d...
 - http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html