According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Seattle is now officially the fourth fastest growing city in America. At first glance, this would appear to be economically opportunistic: with more jobs comes more people. However, keep in mind that with all that growth comes the demand for more room.
Enter: the housing market crisis. Seattle simply doesn’t have enough room to accommodate the demand, and the competition for housing has driven costs higher than ever.
To give you an idea of how expensive it is, let’s crunch a few numbers. According to Northwest Multiple Listing Service, in December of 2015, the average cost of a single-family home in King County was $508,000. Compare that to the year 2013, when the average single-family home was a “modest” $308,125. Quite the price hike, isn’t it?
Due to the exorbitant cost of living, many residents have opted for an apartment instead. With the expectation of reducing costs significantly, many residents were in for a rude awakening–a single-bedroom apartment in Seattle costs the same as mortgaging a three-bedroom home in a more rural area. Yep, that’s right; according to a recent census, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle is $1,412 per month.
So is it realistic to live in Seattle? It depends. The majority of the population growth is due to major tech companies that have settled here, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. And with tech companies come tech salaries, which, as we all know, are notoriously lucrative. Because of this, Seattle has become the next Silicon Valley. So long as you’re making at least $50,000 a year, that should be enough to get you by…on a tiny one-bedroom apartment.