Hot Silicon Valley Property Market: Seattle

Seattle housing (Christopher Hall / Getty)
Christopher Hall / Getty

Prices for homes in the Bay Area have increased to the point where hi-tech workers are fleeing to the Pacific Northwest to find affordable housing, according to the real estate site Redfin. The median home price in the Bay Area has surpassed $1 million, and Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman told the San Francisco Chronicle that one-quarter of Bay Area searchers are checking areas elsewhere–a steep hike from the one-seventh of searchers looking elsewhere in 2011.

In the Pacific Northwest, the median sale price of a home often runs one-half to one-third of a similar Bay Area home. Still, Sacramento, much closer to the Bay Area, attracted 7% of searchers from January-March 2015, as opposed to 5.1% in Seattle and 2.6% in Portland.

Redfin asserts that San Francisco software developers have higher salaries that those in the Pacific Northwest, but the lower housing costs are luring workers north, and companies have figured out that they don’t need to locate in the Bay Area to attract high-caliber employees.

Forbes reported in 2013 that the four metro areas that had generated tech jobs at the fastest pace since 2001 were: Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas; Raleigh-Cary, N.C.; Houston-Sugarland-Baytown, Texas, and Nashville-Franklin-Murfreesboro, Tenn.