A Local’s View of Why Seattle’s Still Trending Despite High Home Prices

by Ben SanfordMarch 5, 2018

Home Prices Continue to Climb, But Seattle Locals Stand Behind Their City

To say that Seattle’s real estate market has boomed in recent years is truly an understatement. In the past couple of years, the median home values of Seattle homes within the city limits have skyrocketed and hit all-time highs, reaching upwards of $700,000.

According to a recent article in the Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle ranks in the country’s top three hottest housing markets of 2018, falling shortly behind Raleigh and San Jose.

With home prices quickly on the rise, many people are surprised by Seattle’s continuing trends of desirability and home ownership. Can buyers justify spending over half a million on a two-bedroom home? And what makes this sellers market worth it for buyers? Here, Seattle’s locals weighed in: they love their city, they’re here to stay, and they’re ready to tell you why.
seattle cost of living

Lucrative Tech Opportunities

Among the many draws pulling on locals to stay in the Seattle area, the city’s lucrative tech opportunities rank high. With tech moguls like Microsoft and Amazon calling the area home, as well as a ton of satellite startups, there are many well-paying tech jobs on offer in Seattle. These jobs certainly matter for homebuyers, as the above-market wage provided by tech jobs helps to offset the higher cost of living — making dreams of homeownership in Seattle a reality for many.

Jaime Daute, a Seattle local, credits her job at Boeing for allowing her and her partner to purchase a home within Seattle’s city limits. “It’s a dream to stay in the city we love, and we feel fortunate to have careers where our jobs allow us to purchase a home [in Seattle]. We love this city, and the opportunities it has to offer.”

Talent-Rich Communities

Likewise, the city’s high concentration of tech jobs draws top talent to the city. Many homebuyers credit the city’s talent-rich communities of creative teams as a strong reason why they moved to Seattle to settle down in the first place.

Cassidy Gamill, who works at Amazon, claims, “I moved back home to Seattle after school because I knew that I’d have opportunities to work with other creative minds. It’s a community you can grow in, and that plays a big role in why I decided to buy a home in Seattle.”
seattle cost of living housing market
It’s true; Michael Schutzler, the CEO of the WTIA, claims that Seattle is the “number one tech-importer of talent in the country.” In fact, according to CB Insights, “the satellite offices of Silicon Valley-based companies like Alphabet and Facebook […] now employ about 1,000 people in the city; as well as a range of startups that collectively raised $583 million from investors last year.”

For creatives looking to find a stimulating, growth-oriented community to put down roots, Seattle remains the place to beat.

Relative Affordability in Seattle

Despite Seattle’s climbing housing prices, the city’s cost of living remains relatively affordable when compared to other tech-saturated communities like Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.

According to data from the job search marketplace Hired, “the average software engineer’s salary [in Seattle] is $180,000 when adjusted for the cost of living, compared to $134,000 in San Francisco.” For homebuyers, this means that the dollar stretches further in Seattle than it does in the Bay Area.
seattle cost of living space needle

Seattle Homes Carry Value

Another reason why people are stilling willing to buy homes in the Seattle area? Locals know that their home purchases are a solid investment. The home values in Seattle neighborhoods appreciate quickly, with some neighborhoods like Belltown appreciating at 8.8%. While you may be spending half a million on a Seattle condo now, just wait a couple years, and the home’s value will skyrocket.

Local buyer Paloma Hennesey purchased her Capitol Hill condo in 2017; already, her home’s value has climbed by $20,000. “It’s a big purchase, yes, but the long term investment is already paying off,” states Hennesey.

Seattle’s talent-rich community of well-paying jobs continues to make the city an affordable — and lucrative — place to live. Have you considered buying a home in Seattle? Weigh in! We’d love to know why this top real estate market remains a desirable place to buy in 2018.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.