When asked whether they would move out of California if they could, one in three respondents answered with a resounding “yes.” This is according to a recent poll conducted by Gallup, which surveyed residents across the nation about their desire and intent to move.

California respondents represented an average desire to move out of their home state as compared to the rest of the nation. Residents with the highest desire to relocate were concentrated in Illinois and much of the Northeast. On the other hand, residents who professed the intention  to stay put were found in places as diverse as  Hawaii, Montana and Texas.

14% of California respondents claimed they would likely move out of state in the next 12 months, a hair higher than the nationwide average of 13%.

Editor’s note: Stated plans to move don’t always align with reality. The actual percentage of individuals moving out of California each year is significantly lower than the quoted 14%. Less than one percent of the total population moved out of California in 2013.

Of those who plan to move out of state within the next 12 months, the reasons given were:

  • a change of job (31%);
  • proximity to family and friends (19%);
  • preferable weather (11%);
  • improved quality of life (9%);
  • school/educational attainment  (8%);
  • reduced cost of living  (5%); and
  • lower taxes (3%).

This is yet another indicator that jobs are the main mover of real estate (much more significant than taxes).

What’s the conclusion to be drawn from all these numbers? All this survey proves is that a third of your clients might prefer to move to a more exotic location. However, it does not mean you’ll be losing any of those clients to other states anytime soon. As long as job growth continues (and it is projected to return to pre-recession levels by the end of 2014), we Californians have little to fear from residents relocating en masse out of state. Further, what people do and what people say are not at all the same.

As the old mantra goes, real estate is all about location, location, location. And this where the Golden State has a substantial advantage over its neighbors. California is a great place to live, with pleasant weather, social and economic diversity, quality schools, geographic dynamism and an overall high standard of living. Your clients may choose to vacation in Hawaii or Montana, but they’ll be back home in the Golden State soon enough.