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June 2015

Silicon Valley tech workers lured to Seattle by more affordable housing

Skyrocketing home prices in the Bay Area are prompting tech workers to consider relocating - and the Seattle area is high on the destinations list.

GeekWire, a technology news site, reported on a recent analysis of home search behavior. A Seattle-based real estate brokerage conducted the study.  John Cook, GeekWire's editor, called the findings "startling" and "a fascinating trend to watch."

On the heels of publishing a list of more than four dozen Silicon Valley tech giants that have established engineering centers in the Pacific Northwest, GeekWire cited findings from an analysis by Redfin that indicates a growing number of Bay Area residents may be planning to relocate to Seattle and Portland.

The brokerage found one in four Bay Area residents (25 percent) on that company's website are looking for homes outside the Bay Area. By comparison, in 2011, about one in seven (15 percent) said they planned to move away from the Silicon Valley area.  Skyrocketing housing costs are cited as a factor in the decision.

The median price for a Silicon Valley home now tops $1 million. Redfin said for every 13 Bay Area people searching for a home, one is now searching in the Pacific Northwest alone.

Commenting on the potential "Valley-ification of Seattle," Cook said the exodus from the Bay Area to Seattle "could have serious impacts on every aspect of life in the Northwest - from traffic (already a mess) to housing prices (soaring) to recruiting (competing with the best and salary expectations from those in the Valley)."