The local housing market has so many elements that it can be difficult to identify a single cause of overcrowding, soaring housing prices, fluctuating mortgage rates, etc. However, for years Seattleites have relied on one constant scapegoat – Californians. According to The Seattle Times, Seattle residents may need to start looking at other factors, as a recent study found that the number of Bay Area residents searching for homes in the Seattle area has dropped 45 percent compared to a year ago.
The Seattle Times suggests that the fear surrounding the influx of wealthy, home-hunting Californians in Seattle may be exaggerated, but not unfounded. Census data shows that in a typical year about 3,650 people move from the Bay Area to King County. In 2015 the percentage of Bay Area home searchers looking at homes in Seattle skyrocketed to 5.1 percent. This year that share is down to 2.8 percent. That raises the question, what’s preventing people from even considering relocating to Seattle?
The article discusses some possibilities for why Seattle has fallen off Californians’ radars. People working in the tech industry have more options now that other desirable cities including Austin, Denver, Boston, and Washington, D.C. are turning into tech hubs. Although these cities also have various housing challenges, the article claims Seattle is the only one that has a “brutal trifecta” of problems: soaring prices, lack of inventory, and homes that sell too quickly for transplants to tour.
Looking at the future, if this decrease in home searches is any indication of things to come, homebuyers could soon experience some much-needed relief.
Find more information and read the full article at The Seattle Times.