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September 2019

News In Brief

September 9, 2019

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Seattle ranked as the 9th most pet-friendly city in the nation, according to a study by WalletHub. Researchers know owning a pet can be expensive, between licenses, grooming and medical care and added expenses for renting an apartment. So which cities give you the most bang for your buck? "With animal parents in mind, WalletHub compared the pet-friendliness of the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics," WalletHub researchers said. "Our data set ranges from minimum pet-care provider rate per visit to pet businesses per capita to walkability." Seattle rated tops in the nation for having the most dog-friendly restaurants per capita, and also ranked in the Top 10 for pet businesses per capita and city walk score. The city scored well above average in dog parks per capita and percentage of pet-friendly hotels. Overall, Seattle did not fare as well in their general category of "Pet Budgets" (76th) but scored very well in "Pet Health & Wellness (7th) and "Outdoor Pet-Friendliness" (11th). And we eked out bragging rights to our sister city to the south, just edging out Portland, which ranked 10th overall by a fraction of a rating point. The most pet friendly city? That would be Scottsdale, Arizona, according to WalletHub. Orlando and Tampa, Florida, Austin, and Phoenix round out the Top 5. The least pet-friendly? Fresno, California.



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Seattle ranks as the fifth most expensive place to live in America, only beaten out by New York's Manhattan, San Francisco, Honolulu, and New York's Brooklyn, according to a study by the Council for Community and Economic Research. The study, which is called the Cost of Living Index, looked at 257 cities over the first quarter of 2019. Regional differences were measured by the cost of housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. The Cost of Living Index also excluded taxes and non-consumer expenditures, and only looked at "professional and managerial households in the top income quintile." This means that low-income or high-income households were not considered in the study. Seattle was the only Pacific Northwest city to make the top 10 on this list, which featured mostly East Coast and California cities. And it's still nowhere near as expensive as the Big Apple: for context, Seattle scored a 159.4 COL Index; Manhattan received a 238.4. The least expensive place on the list was Harlingen, Texas, a small city about four hours south of San Antonio.



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Washington state's community college system is the best in the nation, according to a new study released in August. The new report, by personal finance website WalletHub, ranked hundreds of U.S. schools in the American Association of Community Colleges based on 19 different criteria, including costs, efficiency, retention rates, graduation rates and career outcomes. When all of the criteria were counted up, Washington state's community college system had the highest average score of any state.

Within Washington itself, Pierce College in Puyallup had the highest score, followed by Shoreline Community College, South Puget Sound Community College, Big Bend Community College, Lower Columbia College, Everett Community College and Bates Technical School. The state with the second-best community college system is South Dakota. Minnesota came in at No. 3. Oregon was ranked No. 17 in the nation, Idaho was ranked No. 36 and California came in at No. 18.



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Tacoma now ranks as one of the most competitive housing markets in the nation, according to a new study released in August. The new study, by real estate brokerage Redfin, ranks Tacoma as the country's fourth-hottest real estate market, with the average home selling for about 2 percent above its list price. Tacoma's moment in the national spotlight comes after years of being overshadowed by Seattle, where year-over-year home prices routinely shot up by 10 percent or more each month from about 2016 to early 2018. But as Seattle's average home prices have risen above $550,000, demand has grown for Tacoma's more modestly priced homes, which currently are selling for an average of $338,000. The new Redfin study found that homes in Tacoma are being snatched up by buyers almost as soon as they are listed, with the average home having a pending sale within six days. The hottest homes on the market are selling within four days at 4 percent above the asking price. The growing demand has pushed the average home sales prices in Tacoma 9 percent higher than at the same time last year. The only U.S. cities with a more competitive housing market than Tacoma are Alexandria and Arlington, Va. - the two cities nearest Amazon's new HQ2 on the East Coast - and Grand Rapids, Mich., the study found.