California suburbs growing fast as many are priced out of cities, data show – LA Times

Suburban areas on the outskirts of the red-hot Los Angeles and San Francisco areas grew especially fast last year, state officials reported Monday.San Joaquin County, home to Stockton, grew faster than any other, up 1.3% to 733,000 people. The area has become increasingly popular for people fleeing astronomical San Francisco Bay Area housing prices while remaining within commuting distance. San Joaquin was followed by Yolo, Riverside and Santa Clara counties.

Source: California suburbs growing fast as many are priced out of cities, data show – LA Times

Are these locales really within reasonable commuting distance and when those long commutes are factored in, is the arrangement truly affordable? There’s a huge cost on the personal lives and well being of these super commuters. As I reported in my eBook Last Rush Hour: The Decentralization of Knowledge Work in the Twenty-First Century, the trade-off doesn’t pencil out:

These long commutes also do not make good economic sense. The economic calculus for commuters is the time spent commuting is acceptable if that time is compensated either in the form of higher pay and benefits or more affordable housing. But the economics of that trade-off don’t necessarily balance out, according to an academic paper authored by two economists. “[I]n a direct test of this strong notion of equilibrium . . . we find that people with longer commuting time report systematically lower subjective well-being,” the study authors conclude.

Citation: Alois Stutzer and Bruno S. Frey, “Stress that Doesn’t Pay: The Commuting Paradox,” Scandinavian Journal of Economics 110, no. 2 (2008): 339, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9442.2008.00542.x

Report: Housing costs, traffic congestion motivate workers to seek balance beyond Silicon Valley

In another sign that Silicon Valley isn’t as gilded as it once was, more tech workers want to leave, according to the Woo data. Almost 30 percent of Bay Area workers surveyed in the first quarter indicated they wanted to relocate, compared with 22 percent in the quarter before. New York was highest in demand.There are a number of growing tech hot spots outside Silicon Valley, May said, most of which have a lower cost of living. And that ties into the fact that people surveyed are putting a greater emphasis on work-life balance. “People are changing their priorities,” he said.There’s evidence the exodus away from Silicon Valley has started already. In 2014 more people left Silicon Valley than moved in, for the first time since 2011, according to a study by the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project. More than 7,500 residents hit the road, the study found. The researchers blamed quality of life issues such as skyrocketing housing prices and increasing traffic congestion.

Source: Tech workers lower salary expectations amid economic uncertainty – San Jose Mercury News

It’s time for Silicon Valley to progress to the Information Age — using the information and communications technology it innovated — and out of the Industrial Age model of centralized commuter offices and mega corporate campuses. This technology now allows information workers to do the same work they do in Silicon Valley in the cloud. That way, they can skip the daily commute and live where housing is more affordable.