Clipboard researched by Susan Greene and Rick VanderKnyff / Los Angeles Times. Graphics by Leavett Biles / Los Angeles Times

Most Orange County residents are happy to stay here for now, but 28% would like to move. Renters, the segment most likely to be casting eyes elsewhere, are three times as likely as homeowners to say they would like to leave.

Younger people and north county residents are also more likely to feel the itch. Residents ages 18-34 are more than twice as likely as those 55 and older to want to move. One north county resident in three would like to make a change while in the south county the proportion is one in four.

In fact, the south county--that is, south of the Costa Mesa Freeway--is the most sought-after destination among folks who would like to move. Only about half as many would like to end up north of the 55 Freeway.

Despite lower housing costs, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties together would receive just one mover in eight. Los Angeles county offers even less allure.


The desire to buy a home (27%) and a better location (23%) are the chief drives motivating those who would like to move. Employment opportunities are named by just 12%.

This question was asked first: “Are you interested in moving?” Those who said yes were then asked, “Where would you like to move to?” and “At this time, what is the main reason you would like to move?” Here are the results:

% Saying Yes All residents 28% AGE 18-34 years 37 35-54 26 55 and older 16 HOUSEHOLD INCOME $60,000 and more 23 $40,000-$59,999 26 Less than $40,000 35 REGION* North County 32 South County 24 HOMEOWNERSHIP Owners 17 Renters 51 PERCENTAGES IN HOUSING HAPPINESS CATEGORIES WANTING TO MOVE Very happy 15 Somewhat happy 53 Unhappy 96 WHERE WOULD LIKE TO MOVE South Orange County * 37 North Orange County * 18 Riverside- 6 San Bernardino San Diego County 6 Los Angeles County 3 Elsewhere 30 MAIN REASON FOR MOVE Buy a home 27 Better location 23 More suitable home 19 Job opportunities 12 Other reasons 19

*The north-south dividing line is the Costa Mesa Freeway


Source: Times Orange County Poll by Mark Baldassare