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Seattle Reigns as Most Affordable Tech Hub

Housing costs in America’s tech havens are pretty disparate, according to a recent analysis by Point2 Homes, an online real estate marketplace that covers both Canada and the U.S.

When comparing San Francisco and Seattle, it’s Seattle that comes out on top in terms of housing affordability. Detached homes are particularly more affordable than in San Francisco, the report found.

It’s Seattle homes that have the most affordable price—$610,000,”the report stated, “which is one of the reasons why many magazines ranked the city very high on their lists of best tech hubs in the U.S.”

Condos are also significantly more affordable in Seattle than San Francisco, as is renting. The median condo price in San Francisco is $1.2 million and renting costs $42,000 a year. In Seattle? It’s just $475,000 for a condo and $24,000 in rent.

Point2 Homes also considered extra living costs when comparing the cities, looking at things like groceries, public transportation, and Wi-Fi costs. Seattle came in more affordable on groceries--$4,860 per year v. San Francisco’s $5,856—but was more expensive in the other categories. Public transport in Seattle costs $1,188 to San Francisco’s $936 annually, and Wi-Fi runs $696 per year to San Fran’s $648.

Overall though, the report found these discrepancies to be minimal, especially considering that software engineers make roughly the same amount in income. The median salary for a software engineer in San Francisco is $111,000; in Seattle, it’s $108,000.

“Seattle has been only steps behind San Francisco in terms of tech salaries while its real estate market does not even compare in terms of affordability,” the report stated. “The city pays software engineers around $108,000 annually, which really is just a few dollars less compared to what the Bay pays. Add to that a nice—for a tech hub—median house price of $610, 000 and around $2,000 per month for renting a 1-bedroom apartment, and you’ll get the picture.”

Point2 Homes pulled data from Glassdoor, Toronto Real Estate Board, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, PropertyShark, Teleport.org, California Association of Realtors, NorthWest MLS, Royal LePage, and Cassandra Ariken for its report.

About Author: Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer and editor based in Fort Worth, Texas. She has worked for various newspapers, magazines, and publications across the nation, including The Dallas Morning News and Addison Magazine. She has also worked with both the Five Star Institute and REO Red Book, as well as various other mortgage industry clients on content strategy, blogging, marketing, and more.
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