Many want to move to Seattle, few of us want to leave

By Mike Rosenberg, Seattle Times

Your suspicions have been confirmed: Barely anyone wants to leave Seattle, but plenty of people want to come here, creating a brutal combination for local housing prices, new data shows.

Zillow crunched the numbers and found that 31 percent of Seattle-area residents searching for homes on its site are looking at houses outside the region. That was the ninth-lowest rate of any place in the country.

In some other high-cost areas — such as San Francisco, San Diego and Washington, D.C. — half of searchers are thinking about moving away for (often cheaper) homes outside their local area.

On the other end, a lot of people from other cities are thinking about coming here. Adjusting for population, Seattle was (coincidentally) the ninth-most-popular destination searched for by people looking to buy a house far away.

Seattle wound up as one of the few places in the country with so many people looking to come here but so few looking to flee. The two others were Portland and Tampa, Fla. — which also rank near the top of the list of fastest-rising home prices in the country.

Most other cities across the country had something working in their favor to help with affordability: A lot of people are interested in moving to the Bay Area and Los Angeles but plenty of existing residents there are looking to flee. New Yorkers and Philadelphia natives want to stay but few outsiders want to move there. People in Chicago and Miami want out and few people want to go there.

Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, credited Seattle’s strong job growth for attracting outsiders and said a key reason people are staying is that, unlike most other high-cost markets, there are still several affordable options within commuting distance of the city.

Read the rest of the story here.