If they're not from Bakersfield, odds are your new neighbors are former Angelenos glad to be here.

New data shows what local real estate people have long understood: The vast majority of people considering a move to Bakersfield — by about a 6-1 margin — are from L.A.

In fact, numbers from the first five months of this year suggest that Bakersfield is the second-leading destination, after San Diego, for people planning to move out of L.A.

Local professionals say the primary reason remains housing affordability. But they also point to something new that may be attracting even more Angelenos: the increase in working from home during the quarantine.

Three real estate agents with whom Sheri Anthes works recently sold Bakersfield homes to people leaving L.A. She said all three of the buyers had just learned they could keep their jobs while working from home somewhere else.

The operations vice president at Coldwell Banker in Bakersfield said there are reports of people having a miserable time quarantining in L.A. crowds and that some buyers coming north have been willing to pay above list price.

Bakersfield Realtor Jeanne Radsick, president of the California Association of Realtors, said people from a region that used to look down on Bakersfield are now taking a closer look, seeing there are things to do locally and falling over at the prices.

"These guys are paying $900,000 for a 1,200-square-foot house that was built in the ’40s and the ’50s,” she said, adding that properties fitting that description can be found in Bakersfield for $170,000 or $180,000.

What wasn't immediately available in the new data was a comparison with years past. Still, the numbers indicate Bakersfield has become a preferred destination for people looking to move out of Los Angeles.

Housing rental website Zumper released data Thursday indicating 1 in 3 people who searched for housing in Bakersfield during the first five months of this year did so from the Los Angeles area.

The Sacramento area was next at 1 in 20 area residents searching Bakersfield rentals, followed by Las Vegas, the Bay Area and San Diego, in that order.

On the other side of the equation, the list of places people in Bakersfield were considering moving was led by the Sacramento area, where about 1 in 20 local residents were looking to move, followed in order by Los Angeles, Fresno and Reno, Nev.

Bakersfield didn't show up in a top 25 ranking of cities whose residents were looking to relocate to Los Angeles.

The website also reports that, during the same period, Bakersfield was the second-leading destination for people considering leaving Los Angeles. Only San Diego, with 13 percent of recent housing searches outside the city, outpaced Bakersfield's 4 percent.

Other recent data highlight the stark difference in housing affordability between Bakersfield and Los Angeles.

This month, online real estate marketplace RealtyHop named Bakersfield the fifth most affordable housing market in the country. It said Bakersfield's average family would need to pay just $1,094 per month — a little more than one-fifth of its income — to own a home in the city.

But in Los Angeles, ranked in the same report as the nation's least affordable housing market, the average family would need to pay almost 93 percent of its household income to cover the cost of owning a home in the city.

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(16) comments


Great! Bakersfield should enjoy the wealth they bring while it lasts. Work-At-home could be a temporary measure since data security is a big problem and overseas companies can give the security and do it at a lesser cost.


As long as they don't bring their "progressive" ideology with them, they are welcome.

She Dee

Really? Who is going to approve them for entrance into this promised land of yours?


She Dee: Maybe you want Bakersfield to be a clone of CHAZ/CHOP???

She Dee

Most "newbies" don't stay too long after they experience the hot dry summers with the high cooling costs. Add to that a high percentage of locals who don't like anyone who says they are from Los Angeles or SoCal & Bakersfield ends up being a life experience of where a person does NOT want to call home for the rest of their lives. It's just a cobblestone in the path of life. Not many make a conscious choice to stay in Bakersfield unless they already have existing family in the area. The air quality alone is enough to give a person a heart attack!


I moved to Bakersfield from the Midwest. I like it here. Bakersfield offers affordable housing, convenience if Amtrak, peaceful living for Seniors. There is a lot to do in Bakersfield and Much History. It's convenient to Los Angeles n Fresno. Co. Miter bus to Airports. "Nashville West". Thanks Bakersfield for the warm "Hot Welcome. I don't believe I will ever have to deal with the rigid -30F deep snow n Ice winter's..

She Dee

I think that life is about finding what works for you. I enjoyed the dry air and poor air quality for over 30 years. I had no idea until I left the "basin" how much better my life could be with cleaner air and less people on all sides of my living space! I will move back to Bako when I feel my time is about to end.


She Dee: Then move! Some of us like it here because of the hot weather and because it's not crowded like L.A., San Diego, San Francisco.

Boogerface Nutter

People here in my beach city in LA ask me if this isn't the greatest place on earth to live? I think they're confused when I tell them that, except for being able to play golf 365 days a year in a polo shirt and shorts, it is NOT. When I tell them I much preferred Bakersfield where I lived for 30 years, they turn their heads like my Beagle used to when he was confused.

Except for the bad air, Bako is, truly a great place. Lots going on locally and in a short time one can be at the ocean, the mountains or the desert. Housing is affordable as is the golf.

Had I not married a woman I met online and who was unwilling to leave the beach where she was born, I'd still be there and I still love coming up to work on my rental house, that my daughter rents from me, or to visit friends.

Sue me...I love the place.


Very well said


I very rarely hear people who live at the beach say they would rather live in Bako. As I have said for more years than I care to count, there are far worst places to live in this state. I have lived in 3 other cities, one from the northern central coast and two in the Southern California area. Bako, overall, was and still is a better place to live.


And along with them they bring their problems

Inconvenient Truth

“This month, online real estate marketplace RealtyHop named Bakersfield the fifth most affordable housing market in the country.”

Just wait: Bakersfield housing is about to get a whole lot more ‘Affordable.’


It means Bakersfield is the fifth worse place to live in the country.

And the fifth most difficult to financially get out of. It's like falling in a pit and when you try to get out the sides start to crumble in, because everywhere else the prices are rising higher faster.


Many of us disagree. Bakersfield is gaining in Population

Boogerface Nutter

I remember about 20 years ago when there was a big housing price bubble in LA building began in earnest in Bako. It's never stopped. People were willing to commute over the grapevine and could do so in about the same time as they were in LA but without zillions of other drivers going 20mph.

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