Mayor Bill de Blasio’s unveiling Monday of a new plan for afforable housing came not a moment too soon: Across the state, the high price of a New York address has left many residents itching to relocate, according to a recently released Gallup poll.
When asked, “If you had the opportunity, would you move to another state?” a whopping 41% of New Yorkers said yes — the sixth highest percentage of any state, tied with New Jersey and Massachusetts.
There is a bright spot for the Empire State: For now, at least, it seems that few of those dissatisfied New Yorkers plan to do something about it. Only 16% of residents said that they are “extremely likely,” “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to move out of state in the next year. Those with plans to leave were motivated in large part by economics, with respondents citing cost of living most frequently as the thing driving them away.
Administrative assistant Phyllis Labrache of Flushing said that that she would move “if an opportunity arose.”
“If my husband could relocate and we could make it happen, I think we would,” said Labrache, 53. “I love New York, but financially it’s impossible to get ahead.”
“Half my family’s in Texas and they’re not struggling as bad as we are,” she added.
Julie Cunningham, 37, an artist and real estate agent from Hell’s Kitchen, agreed: “It’s too expensive here — taxes, cost of living,” she said. Financial pressure finally inspired her to take her first step towards relocating, she said; last month, she took a trip to Santa Fe to investigate the city as a possible new home.
“I think different reasons predominate in different parts of New York State. Upstate, the reason is more likely to be a lack of economic opportunity,” said E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center think tank. “Whereas downstate, it’s likely to be the cost of living.”
But dissatisfaction with state taxes, it seems, is something that encompasses all parts of New York: A separate Gallup poll from the same time period found that 77% of New Yorkers believed they paid too much, the most out of any state.
Surprisingly, weather wasn’t one of the main factors in state satisfaction. Illinois had it worst, with an even half of residents saying they’d back their bags – but the three most satisfied states were sunny Hawaii, chilly Montana and even chillier Maine, all with only 23% of residents saying they would move.