Friday, July 1, 2016


The Seattle Times, by way of Seattle based Redfin, has published some material that Seattle is no longer the destination of choice for Bay Area Transplants, and implied that we are no longer able to blame Nor-Californians for the steep rise in Seattle housing prices.  Gotta say I disagree with that.  Let’s be clear, I’m not disagreeing with the fact that “Bay Area residents searching [Redfin] for homes in Seattle area [hasn’t] dropped 45% compared to a year ago (after having quadrupled the previous four years)”  I’m sure that’s true.  I just disagree with the fact that they are not a huge reason for the current appreciation rates here in Seattle DESPITE what the current numbers are saying.  Here’s my logic

·         2.8% of all Bay Area home searchers are looking at homes in Seattle.  It’s a small percentage, but do you know how large an actual number that is?  It’s huge!!!
è “In a typical year, about 3,650 people move from the Bay Area to King County, according to census data”
è  Therefore, if Seattle’s housing market is producing about 175 new homes per week in inventory, that means Bay area transplants alone could swallow up as much as 40.1% of Seattle’s new inventory per year

I realize that not everyone moving to King County from the Bay area is moving to Seattle.  I’m sure there are a fair number of people moving to Bellevue, Issaquah, Shoreline, Mercer Island, Renton, etc…I’m simply just making a point that even though the migration of Californian’s has slowed, it’s still a big enough number to significantly impact the Seattle Housing market. 

The last point of discussion before I wrap this up:  “Just as many people now take the opposite route, moving from the Seattle area to California”.  I don’t have any hard facts, as I am not a multi-billion dollar website with datamining capabilities, but based on purely empirical evidence of growing up here in Seattle and watching my friends come and go, the people that leave from Seattle to California generally do so right after high school or college.  Thus, they are not giving up a home in Seattle to purchase a home down there.  People who are moving from California to Seattle are a little older, and therefore ARE giving up a home to purchase another home here.  Thus, it can be concluded that despite the equal number of residents moving from California to Seattle (and vice versa), this stat is irrelevant because the demographic of residents moving between states is vastly different in a way that further reduces Seattle Housing Market inventory thus increasing Seattle housing prices. 

I could go on about how we have reached a tipping point over the last couple years due to the immigration of Californians; and how housing prices are so high now that Seattle residents who would have moved can’t afford to move, and therefore there are now even fewer houses on the market than there would have been had the Californians never come in the first place…  But I’ll save that for later  : )

Happy Investing!

Today's blog courtesy of Kyle Bergquist, Guild Mortgage

No comments: