San Jose population declines slightly as other Bay Area cities see increases

Shifting demographics have led to increases for some Bay Area cities, and a population decline in for one unlikely hub.

The new looker in San Jose’s Vista Park neighborhood is a four-bedroom, two and a half bath New American style house.

It’s on the market because its owner and family are calling it quits on San Jose.

“San Jose has become more of a rat race. We wanna be able to spend more time with our family,” said homeowner David Cardenas.

Middle school teacher David Cardenas says a “quality” life is no longer possible, even on two incomes in the Capitol of the South Bay.

New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show San Jose’s population declined last year by 0.2%.

It’s the first decline since 2010, and the driving force that’s driving people out is the high cost of housing.

Realtor Joe Valasco of Palo Alto-based Compass Real Estate says the current sales trend support the federal statistics.

“What they’re saying to me is just the high cost of living here in San Jose, and the affordability. Even though we have strong employment, these high-tech companies are driving these high prices. What we’re getting from middle class is that it’s still unaffordable for the majority that are not in the high tech,” said Valasco.

San Jose’s loss is another city’s gain.

While people are leaving here, they’re moving to other states, and other parts of the bay area. 

Milpitas and Emeryville have seen population increases, but the city that leads the pack – Dublin, with a 4.5% population increase.

“Dublin is building a lot of housing,” said Prof. Kelly Snider of the San Jose State University Dept. of Urban & Regional Planning.

She says until San Jose’s housing construction catches and outpaces demand, the South Bay’s capitol city will continue seeing an exodus. 

“The first wave cities that are closer to the bay, had an established population that we’re losing.

Dublin is going from green open fields of nothing to putting up apartments and townhomes and condos,” said Prof. Snider.

David Cardenas and his family are headed to Colorado, for cheap living from just one income.

“I’m probably not going to miss a lot in San Jose,” he said.

Meanwhile his home is on the market, for the third time in the past seven years.

The list price for the house is approximately $1.2M, and realtor Valasco says there are a handful of potential buyers lined up and ready to submit an offer.