Seattle’s income required to afford a median-price home is higher than any metro area in the U.S. outside of California, according to Redfin data.
By Alex Didion
On October 20, 2023
SEATTLE — It is more affordable to shop for a median-priced home in New York City, Boston or any other major U.S. metro area outside of the state of California than it is in Seattle, according to new Redfin data.
Those looking to buy an average home in the Seattle area will need an annual income of at least $214,904, according to Redfin. That is the eighth-highest income needed for a median home, with the seven metro areas above Seattle all sitting within California.
New York and Boston are immediately behind Seattle on the list, with $197,734 and $194,188, respectively, required.
This is based on a Redfin analysis that compares median monthly mortgage payments in August 2023 and August 2022. A monthly mortgage payment is considered affordable if the homebuyer spends no more than 30% of their income on housing.
Nationally, it has never been more expensive to purchase an average home. The median-priced U.S. home requires an income of $114,627, the highest-ever mark on record, according to Redfin. That number is 15% higher than a year ago and more than 50% higher than it was before the pandemic.
Redfin cites mortgage rates that are as high as they’ve been in two decades and low inventory nationwide as the factors behind the rising costs.
The median household income in Seattle lags well behind the annual income needed to afford a median home. According to the Census Bureau, Seattle’s median household income from 2017-2021 was $105,391.
This difference is more stark than the nation at large, where the median household income is $40,000 below the income needed to afford a typical home.
The high costs of Seattle homeownership have led to some creative solutions. One real estate company is offering up parceled shares of a luxury home in Seattle in an attempt to lower the barrier to purchasing a home.
“If we’re really looking at, ‘How do we make housing affordable?’ We had to get creative,” said Katrina Eileen, founder of Katrina Eileen Real Estate.
At the time, Eileen said you would technically own a private room and bathroom for $200,000, and then across the hallway on the same floor, somebody else would own the home’s other bedroom and bathroom for $200,000. You would have to be okay with sharing the whole downstairs, which comes furnished with the other occupant.
This piece was republished from KING 5 News.