Fox Business points out the obvious.
Americans are leaving the costliest metro areas for more affordable parts of the country at a faster rate than they are being replaced, according to an analysis of census data, reflecting the impact of housing costs on domestic migration patterns.
Those mostly likely to move from expensive to inexpensive metro areas were at the lower end of the income scale, under the age of 40 and without a bachelor's degree, the analysis by home-tracker Trulia found.
Looking at census migration patterns across the U.S. from 2010 to 2014, Trulia analyzed movement between the 10 most expensive metro areas -- including all of coastal California, New York City and Miami -- and the next 90 priciest metro areas, based on the percentage of income needed to pay a monthly mortgage on a typical home.
The net population flows skewed away from the most expensive markets ... The census data don't specify why a person moves, said Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia's chief economist, but the disproportionate impact on lower-income people suggests housing costs are a pressure point.
. . .
An April report from Trulia researcher Mark Uh found that lower-income households represent a larger share of those moving away from the most expensive markets than their overall population in those markets. For example, those earning less than $60,000 a year make up 27.4% of all households in the San Jose metro area, but they represent nearly half of all households moving away.
Another study this year from California policy group Next 10 and Beacon Economics found that New York state and California had the largest net losses of domestic migrants between 2007 and 2014, and that lower- and middle-income people were more likely to leave.
There's more at the link.
I know this is happening from personal experience, and the experience of my friends and acquaintances. When Miss D. and I decided, last year, that we wanted to buy our own place and make it a home, rather than just a rented residence, we considered several options. Moving closer to good friends was one part of our decision to relocate to Texas, but that didn't predicate us living in the town where we now reside. We would have considered several other towns or cities, but the much lower housing costs here were decisive. We got about twice the house for our money than we would have been able to buy in Nashville, TN, our previous home; or, to put it another way, we paid half as much here as we would have there for a house that had almost everything we wanted and needed.
Several fellow writers, bloggers and others have bought new homes over the past year. A sizable proportion of them have relocated to do so, to take advantage of lower housing costs. At least two have commented to me that even though they could have earned significantly higher salaries by staying in their former area, the saving in housing costs and other living expenses more than justified accepting a lower salary in order to relocate.
I still maintain the economy's in serious trouble. The cost of housing is yet another indicator that we're far from out of the woods yet.