NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Music City’s explosive growth in many ways can be linked to the enormous amount of people relocating from California.

It’s a trend News 2 has been following. A trend now so strong that our sister station in Los Angeles, KTLA, sent a crew to Nashville to see what all the fuss is about. Glen Walker will be putting together a story, or two, to share with the LA area.

So, we decided we’d take the opportunity and interview him about what he’s hearing about people leaving the Golden State for a shot in Music City.

“It actually seems for the first time ever, California is losing population,” Walker said. “It’s always growing every year, and I think it was last year, around 168,000 people left California- the population is decreasing. Where are they going? Turns out, a lot of them are coming to Tennessee in the Nashville area.”

Real estate agent, Jeff Checko said the first big relocation from California started materializing when Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election.

Already weary of their states fiscal and social policies, COVID-19, and 2020 politics started pushing people Southeast even more.

Now, realtors admit California is our most popular inbound state.

“I think politics has a lot to do with it. Covid kind of shut things down, while things were open here, and I think a lot of people that were working from home work from home here, even though they can work for a company in California,” Walker said.

He added another big factor at play here is price. “It’s a market that’s hard to buy a house,” Walker said, talking about California. “A lot of times the structure will be a two-bedroom house, and you’ll pay over a million dollars for it. Sometimes you’re looking at it ‘you gotta be kidding me, you’re paying for the dirt.'”

So, they sell that million dollar house and move here where there’s no state income tax and the median price for a home is just $446,000, less than half of their home sale price.

“If they have enough equity in their home, they can sell home in LA or Greater LA area and move here and almost pay cash. Sometimes they do pay cash. Sometimes they have a much smaller mortgage,” Walker said.

They’re getting way more bang for their buck.

Checko is taking note, saying about a third of those looking at luxury properties in Nashville are Californians, who have more willingness to pay in a competitive situation.

As Walker’s time in Nashville comes to a close, he said he’s learned a lot, and perhaps there’s something we can learn from him. “I think your big concern here is Nashville not turning into L.A., which is urban sprawl.”

He continued, “You don’t want cement between here Franklin, and that’s what L.A. is. You drive outside the city, and you keep driving and driving and nothing ever changes.”

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Walker also said it’s important for infrastructure and education systems to keep up with the growth.