Josh Cohen wrote a great affordable housing explainer for Crosscut on Monday that's recommended reading for anyone who's interested in issues related to housing affordability in Seattle today. As Josh says, "The availability (or scarcity) of affordable housing is literally shaping this city’s future, and to better understand this complex issue and its impact, you need to know how affordable housing is defined, why its shortage is being called a crisis and what city officials are doing to try to keep Seattle livable for everyone." This is your chance.
There's no doubt about it, housing in Seattle is expensive.
According to Zillow, rents in Seattle have increased 21% over the last 5 years, while average income has only increased 10.5%, making us the 8th most expensive rental market in America. The average Seattle renter spends just over 30% of his income on rent, as opposed to the average homeowner, who spends just over 15% on her mortgage.
Curbed Seattle crunched the purchase numbers and determined that being able to afford a median-priced $359,900 home with a 20% down payment would require an annual salary of $75,098, vs. Seattle's $65,677 median household income. The median single-family home price in Seattle is $543,500, though…which by my back-of-the-envelope math would require an income of $113,398, or nearly twice Seattle's median, using Curbed's methodology.
On December 11, experience the sculpture park as you never have before—walk the path lit with the glow of hundreds of lights and luminarias. Make art, listen to music, sip a hot drink, grab a sweet bite, and take in the sights.
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service published their monthly press release about the state of the local market on Thursday; the main theme is that prices are up and sales are down, which is typical for this time of year. Seattle Bubble has a good run-down of press coverage of the NWMLS release, including some good advice about not listening to real estate brokers about what interest rates are likely to do in the future.