Absolutely true. It’s been happening for quite a while actually. I can remember a friend talking to me in the early 2000s and he was seriously thinking about moving to Kansas because the cost of living was so much lower. “Do you have any idea what a $250,000 house looks like out there? It’s a palace.”
I also remember at about the same time I talked to a fellow who was rolling through my newly built neighborhood in the exurbs of Washington DC. He had just been transferred to DC from Ohio with a big pay raise. He asked me about my house and how I liked it. I said I liked it with the exception of the horrendous commute. (By the way, I still lived a couple of counties from the District, people commute from West Virginia to DC every day en masse.) I remember he looked down, and said if he had any idea how expensive Washington was when he accepted the promotion he would never have taken the job. There was no way he could afford a house like the one he had back home.
Since then I’ve known a few people who have bolted the East Coast for Texas for cost of living reasons. It’s not all retirees leaving California and New York, it’s the heart of America leaving for the heart of America.
Newcomers in Oklahoma City have traded traffic jams and preschool waiting lists for master suites the size of their old apartments. The sons of Lorin Olson, a stem cell biologist who moved here from New York’s Upper East Side, now ride bikes in their suburban neighborhood and go home to a four-bedroom house. Hector Lopez, a caricature artist, lives in a loft apartment here for less than he paid to stay in a garage near Los Angeles. Tony Trammell, one of a group of about a dozen friends to make the move from San Diego, paid $260,000 for his 3,300-square-foot home in a nearby suburb.
“This is the opposite of the gold rush,” Mr. Trammell said.
But just to be clear. The Fed says there’s NO inflation.