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Californians, fed up with high home prices, want to migrate to Prescott

Updated: Jul 4, 2018

Survey finds Californians looking for homes here in increased numbers

Reprinted from The Daily Courier • Originally Published: June 10, 2018 6:01 a.m

Moving vans and construction crews mix as construction on new homes is booming in the new section of Granville in Prescott Valley. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

A new survey by finds that people living in California are looking to move away from the high cost of housing, and Prescott, along with Phoenix and Las Vegas, are in their sights.

“Our research shows many California residents may have reached their breaking point,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for “Affordability is pricing them out of the California home market and many are searching for more affordable options in other areas. This exodus could help slow price appreciation in California, but potentially heat up prices and reduce inventory in surrounding markets.

“If this pattern continues, we could see Californians drive up home prices in parts of Phoenix, Las Vegas and Prescott,” she added.

According to a news release from, the survey looked home searches in 16 California counties and American Community Survey migration estimates.

“Search data includes both outbound searches and the ratio of search traffic viewing pages outside of an area versus outside traffic coming in,” the release states.

Ryan Lowry, a Realtor at Keller Williams in Prescott, said he’s seen an uptick in Californians checking into Prescott-area homes.

“I have noticed that a lot of our buyers are from California,” he said. “We’ve actually seen an increase in that over the last five or six months.”

California median list prices have increased 83 percent over the past six years, to $549,000 from $300,000, outpacing local income growth by three times, according to

That is a major reason for the exodus, Lowry said. “A lot of people are coming over and putting cash down (on a home purchase), because they could sell their house over in California and pick a house up over here for half the price,” he said, adding that there are other financial reasons behind their decisions: “A lot of them are complaining about … gas prices, (and) the cost of living” as a whole. “It’s just so expensive over there.”

And, Lowry added, the basic law of supply and demand means that prices for homes in the Quad Cities will inevitably go up if the migration continues.

“I am seeing a tremendous influx of clients coming in from California,” said Jinger Cutting, a Realtor at RE/MAX Mountain Properties. She’s been a real estate agent in Prescott for 14 years, and said there has always been interest from residents of the Golden State, but the calls have spiked in the last 12 months or so.

“They want to move to Prescott, number one, because the quality of life (is better). The tax situation in California is becoming unbearable,” she said, noting that people can make the drive in seven hours or so if they still have family back home.

And of course, “the affordability is huge,” Cutting said. “We have some folks coming in that sold a small home — maybe 1,400 square feet — for close to a million (dollars). They’re coming here and buying a new home, triple the size, and paying nothing like what they sold for.” By Scott Orr

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