According to a report by Rent.com, the cost of living in Seattle is around 56.8% higher than the national average. The report also estimated that for a person to live comfortably in Seattle, they need to earn $82,240 annually. This is the only way one can afford a 1-bedroom apartment and other expenses like utilities, commute costs, healthcare, and food.
Maxwell Drever, the Founder, and Chairman of DCM say when people talk about how expensive Seattle is, they aren’t just talking about the housing cost. Yes, living here is expensive, but those moving here forget other expenses. According to the Cost of Living Index, Seattle’s housing is 115% more expensive than other cities’ housing costs. Factor in the cost of health care, utilities, groceries, and transportation, and the range is around 40% higher than the average.
Does this paint a clear picture for you? If not, keep reading to find out the top five reasons why Seattle is so expensive:
Maxwell Drever has already talked about housing so let’s move on to commute. Residents of Seattle pay a few cents more per gallon compared to other cities. The average gas price here is $3.20. If you take your car to a mechanic for a simple tire rotation, it will cost you $60. If you are traveling on a train, a one-way ticket will cost you $3. There are two reasons for the fuel cost being so high. First, Seattle has been pushing its resident to go green, and second, the cost of transporting fuel is high.
Expensive Goods and Services
From seeing a movie to getting a haircut, Seattle is unforgiving. A simple haircut can cost you $40 and a movie ticket $14. Since Seattle employees don’t earn well-enough wages, these expenses seem incredibly high. One would assume that the rising costs have to do with thinning the crowd so that only true Seattle-loving residents can survive.
It’s a Tech Hub
One reason Seattle has such a high living cost is that it is home to Microsoft and Amazon headquarters; this is why Seattle is known as a tech city. It draws in a specific demographic, such as tech-minded individuals who make a home here to earn more. Some say that life in Seattle is better than that in Silicon Valley. Both these headquarters create hundreds of job opportunities, increasing the number of people wanting to settle in Seattle. As a result, the demand for goods, housing, and transportation rose. This brings us to our next point:
People working in the tech headquarters have inflated salaries. They are paid a lot and have plenty of money to spend. However, the lower working class does not have this luxury and suffers because of their actions. Since Seattle taxes people based on their salaries, the same law applies to blue-collar workers, which is unfair because they don’t earn enough.
Seattle happens to be the capital city. It is big on tourism. People from all over the world come here to see the Space Needle. When they choose to stay here, restaurant and hotel prices increase. As a result, its residents bear the brunt. So, if you are thinking about settling in Seattle, Maxwell Drever suggests you make your decision wisely.