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Land Of Discontent: 44% Consider Leaving Bay Area In Survey

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Ever increasing housing prices, worsening traffic and other issues are leading to more than 4-in-10 Bay Area residents to consider life elsewhere, according to a new survey.

The poll by the Bay Area News Group and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group of more than 1,500 voters in five Bay Area counties found 44 percent saying they are likely to leave the region in the next few years.

Meanwhile, six percent of those surveyed said they had definite plans to leave the Bay Area this year.

ALSO READ: South Bay Median Home Prices Dip To $1.14M At End Of 2018

"When six of every 100 say 'I'm packing, I'm leaving' it's serious and it needs a serious response from those of us who care about this region," President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Carl Guardino said.

Among those considering leaving, a whopping 77 percent of respondents cited high housing costs, while 76 percent cited the Bay Area's high cost of living. More than half cited the region's traffic. Other reasons cited by respondents include quality of life and taxes.

"You want to have a job and own your own property but here you just can't," Patty Garay of San Lorenzo said.

Garay is a 43-year-old Salesforce Administrator at a Biotech company, she used to live in a two bedroom apartment in San Francisco but couldn't afford to stay. Now she's moving in with her parents in the East Bay.

"I had to swallow my pride go back home so I could maybe build something for the future," Garay said.

She's considering leaving the Bay Area altogether. A number of her family members have already moved to Texas, when she looks at property there she says it makes more sense to leave California.

"There I could not only live by myself I could have a good life, own a condo, a car, maybe even travel," Garay said.

The poll comes as the Bay Area is in the grips of a housing crisis, with housing construction not keeping up with job creation.

A recent report by Zumper found the median rent for a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco has shot up to nearly $3,700 a month, $2,540 a month in San Jose and $2,320 a month in Oakland. Rents could go up further, with several tech companies expected to file IPOs this year.

The crunch has prompted many to commute long distances to jobs in the Bay Area, with areas such as Stockton and Modesto leading the country in so-called "super commutes" of 90 minutes or more one way.

The poll of 1,568 voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties was taken last month, with a margin of error of plus / minus 3.1 percent.

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