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April 15, 2024
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Report Looks at How Covid Pandemic Accelerated High-Density to Low-Density Population Migration Trend in Sacramento


Here is an interesting look at how the ongoing demographic trend of people moving from high-density markets to lower-density markets was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, at least for one market – Sacramento. This report was provided by CBRE.

CBRE has analyzed USPS address change data to determine the impact that COVID-19 has had on resident migration patterns and found that demographics in Sacramento took a significant positive turn in 2020. In fact, the change in net move-ins per capita from 2019 to 2020 was greater than any other metro area observed in the analysis.

Sacramento benefited from the preeminent demographic trend of 2020 — the general flow of people from ‘high-cost & high-density’ places to ‘lower-cost & lower-density’ communities. Although this trend was happening before COVID-19, social distancing measures have put a premium on space.

Here are some other key points that highlight the demographic changes that Sacramento has experienced due to COVID-19:

• About 94% of the people who relocated to Sacramento came from within California. Specifically, a larger share of newcomers came from the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
• Moves from San Francisco County to Sacramento County increased by 70% in 2020.
• Although net move-ins were only a slight 0.3 per 1,000 residents, this represents a material reversal from 3.2 net move-outs per 1,000 during 2019.
• Suburban communities to the north of Sacramento, such as Roseville, saw a noticeable uptick in newcomers during 2020. These communities are characterized by newly built, spacious single-family homes and are emblematic of the places nationwide that saw an uptick in move-ins amid the pandemic.
• Nationwide, there was a trend away from dense neighborhoods during 2020. Although sprawling Sacramento has few places that can truly be characterized as ‘dense’ there was an uptick in move-outs from neighborhoods surrounding Downtown.
• Second-home destinations, such as Lake Tahoe, had a pronounced increase in net move-ins. The area surrounding South Lake Tahoe saw net move-ins increase by 17 persons per 1,000 residents.
• Ultimately, the outflow from the Bay Area to Sacramento is likely to subside in the wake of the pandemic. Thus, the pace of net move-ins during 2020 is likely transitory rather than a secular shift.

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