Seattle Housing Development Falls Behind Job Growth

The tech industry has settled nicely in Seattle, making the city one of the best hubs in the country for these kinds of jobs and more. From start-ups to large corporations, the tech companies that are creating headquarters in Seattle have driven the economy to new heights. For those who are looking for a great job in a vibrant city, this is wonderful news. However, this impressive job growth does come with its own challenges for residents to overcome.

The Gap Between Job Growth and Housing Development

A recent Curbed Seattle article published data from an Apartment List report that showcased the divide between job growth and housing development. The report noted that between the years 2010 and 2015, job growth was twice as fast as new construction and housing development in the city. Couple that with rising demand for real estate, minimal single-family housing inventory and skyrocketing prices, and those who are relocating to Seattle for a new job are faced with a few changes.

The divide between job growth and housing has presented several difficulties for the city as well as for the East King County region:

  • Increased Commute Times — Obviously, an influx of residents who are coming to the city for new jobs will need to get to work. More people equates to more traffic, which makes for longer commutes. In addition, the fact that many people can't find housing within the city limits pushes them further into the suburbs like the desirable Bellevue real estate market. The suburban sprawl inevitably clogs up the highways with more traffic.
  • Higher Rent Prices — Low supply and high demand can only mean one thing: An increase in rental prices. It can be frustrating for new residents to have to fork over a significant portion of their salary to rent an apartment or townhome. 

The new reality that is facing Seattle has forced both housing developers and residents to accept the fact that the city is going to have to start changing to keep up with the times. According to King5 News, the addition of a light rail throughout the city is going to help commuters significantly, and it also will have a direct impact on the makeup of the neighborhoods that are near the new line.

The Impact on Popular Seattle Neighborhoods

Some of the popular Seattle neighborhoods that may see significant growth in the next few years include:

  • Central District — The Central District has always been a vibrant neighborhood, and its proximity to the light rail line will increase its desirability amongst those who commute to the city center for work. Those who own property in the Central District will have more opportunities to sell, particularly as developers seek to create apartments and other luxury living opportunities for new residents.
  • Queen Anne — Known for its historical atmosphere and homes with distinct architectural features, the Queen Anne neighborhood may quickly evolve into a neighborhood with more luxury living rentals than single-family homes. Developers have been known to contact homeowners to see if they are interested in selling their property for significant returns, as the developers know the land would be in high demand amongst those who are relocating to the city.
  • Beacon Hill — Situated atop one of the city's hills, this neighborhood offers spectacular views in a near-perfect location. As more single-family lots are being rezoned for higher-density living throughout the city, owners in this neighborhood may have the opportunity to sell to investors who want to capitalize on the city's growth.

Even in the best of times — when the economy is strong and the housing market is setting records every day — there are always challenges for communities to overcome. Seattle is standing face-to-face with its growing pains, and its innovative community leaders and residents are finding ways to adapt to the changing dynamic of their city.

To find out more information about the housing market in Seattle and to discover the properties that are available right now, contact our team of experienced local real estate agents today. Whether you're looking for a home in the heart of Seattle or in the quiet Issaquah community, we can help you find the home of your dreams.

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