Monday, May 4, 2015

Urban Flight

While the job engine that is Seattle pulls in roughly 200,000 commuters per day, there are many commuters who work east of the city, but choose to live in Seattle's densest and liveliest neighborhoods.

The Seattle Times recently reported on data from the Census Bureau's Center for Economic Studies to find out exactly where these "reverse commuters" choose to live. The highest concentration of Eastside workers is in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, along the Pike/Pine and Broadway corridors, although Belltown brings it in at number one - sending 792 residents to work across Lake Washington. The urban neighborhoods where these Eastsiders choose to live - including Queen Anne, Westlake, South Lake Union, Fremont and Ballard - are those that are more than double the density of the citywide average.

These stats reflect two socio-economic urban trends that affect where people choose to live. On one hand, there is the increase in the suburban job market that attracts employees. The Eastside has over 350,000 jobs to compete as an employment center.

At the same time, an increasing number of young professionals are rejecting the car-dependent suburban lifestyle in favor of more walkable, urban neighborhoods. Seattle commuters are increasingly choosing alternate modes of transportation other than a single-occupancy vehicle to get to work. The top choice for those who work in downtown Seattle remains public transit (43%), followed by driving alone (34%), ridesharing (9%), walking (6%), teleworking (4%), and bicycling (3%).

If you want to invest in real estate that will hold its value over time, pay attention to these trends. And keep your investments close to the employment centers of your region.

Happy Investing!

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