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March 2017

News In Brief

  • The Seattle area is the sixth best place to live in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report's annual index, rising from seventh last year. The publication ranked metro areas by migration, desirability, quality of life, "value" and job-market health. "Value" was assessed by using U.S. Census Bureau data to compare income and cost of living in an attempt to show how comfortably people could live within their means. Department of Labor data indicated the strength of various regions' job markets. Crime statistics, health-care rankings and education rankings were included in measuring quality of life. The publication polled people throughout the country and asked them to vote on whey they were most interested in living. The top-10 best places to live: 1) Austin, 2) Denver, 3) San Jose, 4) Washington, DC, 5) Fayetteville, 6) Seattle, 7) Raleigh & Durham, 8) Boston, 9) Des Moines, 10) Salt Lake City.

  • With total home sales expected to grow modestly in 2017, following a banner year for the housing industry, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017's Best Places to Be a Real Estate Agent. To determine best markets for Realtors, WalletHub's analysts compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities across 14 key indicators of a healthy housing market, ranging from "sales per agent" to "annual median wage for real estate agents" to "housing-market health index." Its top ten places to be a real estate agent are: 1) Honolulu, HI, 2) Seattle, WA, 3) Denver, CO, 4) Boston, MA, 5) Aurora, CO, 6) Madison, WI, 7) Reno, NV, 8) San Francisco, CA, 9) Irvine, CA, and 10) Austin, TX.

  • According to a report from San Francisco career site Hired, Seattle techies are the second-best-paid in the country. The average software engineer in Seattle makes $126,000 a year, falling just short of the $134,000 salary Bay Area engineers make. When cost of living is factored in, Seattle drops to the No. 3 spot, following Denver and Austin. Hired uses its own data in the study, collected from its work helping companies find job candidates and offering them positions.

  • When making decisions about buying, selling or renovating their homes, Americans, by and large, take their pets' needs into account, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors┬«. The 2017 Animal House: Remodeling Impact report found that 81 percent of respondents said that animal-related considerations play a role when deciding on their next living situation. "In 2016, 61 percent of U.S. households either have a pet or plan to get one in the future, so it is important to understand the unique needs and wants of animal owners when it comes to homeownership," said NAR President William E. Brown, a REALTOR┬« from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties."REALTORS┬« understand that when someone buys a home, they are buying it with the needs of their whole family in mind; ask pet owners, and they will enthusiastically agree that their animals are part of their family."

  • With only 17 state capitals being also the largest cities in their respective states but not necessarily offering the best quality of life, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis to determine 2017's Best State Capitals to Live In.

    To identify the most livable seats of state government, WalletHub's data team compared all 50 across 42 key metrics, ranging from "cost of living" to "K-12 school-system quality" to "number of attractions." Of the top 20 state capitals to live in, Olympia, WA was ranked No. 13. Austin, TX was ranked No. 1.

  • In terms of traffic, the Seattle metro area ranks No. 20 in the worldwide INRIX Traffic Scorecard and No. 10 in the United States. Drivers here were delayed an average of 55 hours last year in peak times. Tacoma's traffic ranked 53rd, Portland 30th, and Vancouver, B.C., 76th in the count of 1,064 cities in 38 countries. The most clogged city was Los Angeles, averaging 104 hours delay. The competing Tom Tom navigation company ranks Seattle the fourth most congested are in the United States.

  • Tacoma was ranked #4 on a list of "Twelve Top Convention Cities in the USA for 2017" as selected by MeetingSource.com. Convention cities across the country were ranked on a five point rating system with criteria that included affordability, ease of access, safety, walkability and promotional appeal. The Tacoma market was recognized for the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, affordable hotel room rates and the proximity to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.