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Sunday, November 27, 2005

First-Time Buyers Come Up Short In Seattle

Thanks again to a faithful reader for pointing out an article that slipped under my radar during the holiday. The Seattle Times reports on the growing costs of housing in the Seattle area, and how many people are being priced out of the market:

Despite earning wages higher than the national average, Seattle-area buyers increasingly are being priced out of the single-family home market — one of the most expensive in the nation, according to just-released sales statistics.

The median price of a single-family home in the combined Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma area was $325,000 in the third quarter, according to the National Association of Realtors. That's 50 percent higher than the national average.
In fact, the NAR's numbers reveal that Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma combined is the most expensive metro area north of San Francisco and west of Washington, D.C.
Now that's a rather amusing way to draw the border. When you think about it though, what major cities really exist outside the area they just defined? Chicago is pretty much it. Of course that doesn't change the fact that it's still really flipping expensive to try to buy a house around here.
King County buyers earning the median wage now have just 85 percent of the income needed to buy the median priced house, Crellin said.

And because home prices are rising faster than wages, first-time King County buyers now have just 47 percent of the income to buy a starter house. Crellin defines that as a single-family home priced 15 percent under the median, or around $276,000.
This sounds pretty much like what I've been saying, actually.

(Elizabeth Rhodes, Seattle Times, 11.26.2005)


meshugy said...

That "North of San Fransisco, West of D.C." bit was pretty funny.

Although, it's not too funny that Chicago is more affordable then Seattle. You'd think a city of that size would have gotten pretty bubbly. But then again, it's got to be the coldest major city in the U.S....God it's cold there! So a lot of people stay away. And there's really no limit to sprawl. Corn fields in nearly every direction.


Anonymous said...

If people want to buy a home in the future, they need to spend their money wisely and think about how to maximize the return of their savings. A lot of fat can be cut to save up for a down payment. Going out less, bringing lunch, not buying the latest electronics, even getting rid of cable tv. It is not an insurmountable task like the media says.

Anonymous said...

In addition to Chicago, what about Detroit, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Cleveland, Milwaukee, or Portland? Those are all major metros with more than 1.5 million people.