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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

High Seattle Prices Drive Rural Growth

How are people dealing with skyrocketing home prices in Seattle? Some just stay put, some use dangerous interest-only and adjustable-rate loans to afford a house, while others push further and further to the outskirts of the metro area. That last option is causing stress in some small towns as they experience record growth.

A huge Barclays North sign at the recent Sultan Centennial picnic was a reminder that Sultan is undergoing the biggest building boom of its 100-year history.
Many people are willing to suffer through a long commute when they find they can't afford the 3-bedroom house with the 2-car garage close to where they work. And that means rapid growth in towns like Sultan.
No one has accused the company of doing anything illegal, but some of its practices have stirred controversy in Sultan, which has about 1,500 houses now. In the next 20 years, planners expect 1,200 more new homes as more commuters discover Sultan's below-average home prices.
And as more commuters "discover" it, the price is certain not to stay "below-average" for long.

(Emily Heffter, Seattle Times, 08.17.2005)

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