San Diego is America’s Top Choice for Relocating!
It’s official. San Diego is America’s favorite city! A new survey issued this week by the American Planning Association says that the city of San Diego is the top choice for people looking to relocate. 1,040 adults, aged 21-65 were polled and asked which top three metro areas would interest them the most as a place to relocate. 23 percent of those polled said San Diego was their top choice! New York, Boston, Denver and San Francisco followed San Diego as the most popular cities to relocate. And active boomers chose San Diego #1 as well.
At the national planner’s convention held in Atlanta, respondents to the poll said housing costs and the overall cost of living played as strong role in where they would move to. San Diego is among the cities with the highest cost but also in the most demand. Bill Anderson, the former San Diego city planning director, who still lives locally, explains:
“If it was the just the price of housing, Mississippi would be the strongest economy in the country,” Anderson said.
But he offered various ways to reduce San Diego prices, such as building more townhouses near transit, shopping and workplaces. He also said better education is important to people considering moving elsewhere.
“We’re a work in progress,” he said. “We’ve got to keep at it because other cities are trying to position themselves (to attract talent),” Anderson said.
More Boomers and Millennials moved to San Diego between 2008 and 2013. Gen Xers, aged 30-44, moved away, leaving a 7.3% decline over the same period of time. According to Kelly Cunningham at the National University System Institute for Policy Research, “First-time home buyers are most likely to be Gen Xers, who apparently are moving away and taking their children with them to places they can afford a home to raise their kids in,” Cunningham said.
One of the most interesting findings of the survey was that company relocations were not as effective as investing in local amenities. The draw to people was not the company relocation, it was the natural attractions of San Diego and its diverse biotech sectors and leading industry businesses. Many come to San Diego and the surrounding areas to either build a career or retire.
San Diego Mayor Faulconer said in a statement that he was not surprised San Diego is popular but recognizes that economic issues are at the top of the list. “One of my top priorities as mayor is to create good-paying jobs and economic opportunities to get more of America’s talent to call San Diego home,” Faulconer said in a statement. He also said that San Diego should be praised for its startups, craft beer and defense industries, along with the high-tech and tourism sectors.
San Diego has also succeeded in balancing development and environmental solutions, according to Marney Cox, chief economist at the San Diego Association of Governments.
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