High housing prices exist because we refuse to admit we are a city. We only allow multifamily housing on 13% of our land, and saving the vast majority for suburban-style housing where it's illegal to even have a duplex and where we *require* off-street parking (even when the curb cut required to do so takes up 2 cars worth of space).

One project in Lower Queen Anne is tearing down a 4-story apartment building to build a 7-story apartment building. This only happens when developers are just out of land. How many apartment buildings, row houses, etc. would be built immediately if we stopped outlawing them throughout most of Seattle?
Housing prices have always been high in Seattle, at least since the 80s. Houses and other single family dwellings will always be needed, as families outgrow apartments. That's the American dream, and we should preserve it.
Charles, you linked to this article as though it supported your argument, but all I’m seeing is that some rough estimates of February 2018 data suggest Seattle’s rents are declining faster than rents in Washington state or the nation as a whole. Do you believe that’s the case?…

...also, if you’re going to talk about “Seattle-area” wages, don’t exclusively compare those wages to rental costs & real estate prices in the city of Seattle proper. It betrays innumeracy.
@2: Only if all the apartments are just one and two bedrooms.
@ 2 - as Carlin so well put it, " It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep in order to believe it "......your 'dream' is a privileged version of our nightmares.
The main thing it shows is the great disconnect between income and wealth. There aren't that many people selling, along with very few new homes being built. Demand is high, and some people stretch to buy a house. Some of the people moving here have wealth from owning homes in other markets that saw similar asset inflation (e. g. California).

All of those things work together, to inflate the cost of housing. Many of those who own their own home don't have much income, but they are wealthy now (because their home is valuable). It isn't necessarily caused by extremely wealthy individuals or firms buying up the real estate, but by very high demand and very little new supply. In this case the supply is limited by the government (similar to OPEC, but on a much smaller scale, and only locally) but it could be caused by any number of things.

For example, after the 2001 earthquake in Japan, there was a disruption in the supply of Japanese cars and auto parts. Late model used cars suddenly became more valuable. In other words, owners became wealthier. Prices were going up, even though incomes weren't, thus providing (for a relatively brief period) the same sort of disconnect we are seeing with housing here.
It’s the GOPs fault. Those liberal bastards!
Under neoliberal doctrine it is illegal to build or design anything for the less than 5 percent. Also, there is massive inflation, just not the type the Fed counts. The hyper-wealthy make towers and don’t dare let the rabble enter.
so the insane rise of property taxes has nothing to do with high rents then? especially the newest bullshit mccleary crap? just a quick fix by jamming the education problem onto property owners? even worse than the endless levies - at least those are voted on (and approved by brainless ooh-i'm-progressive-and caring morons).
Non-union salaries in Seattle were considerably lower than in the city where I moved from in the 2000's in order to deal with family issues. In fact, I was well and truly shocked at the time at how much lower salaries were for comparable positions. I did a little checking on salaries nationwide at the time, and Seattle was among lower-paying city for non-union workers.

I suspected the reason was that non-union salaries in the Puget Sound region were kept lower in order to fund the locally high union wages (robbing Peter to pay Paul).

In the ensuing decade, high incomes have been slowly shifting from union workers to tech workers. But meanwhile, everyone who isn't one or the other, and works for an organization that employs either or both, is still very likely being paid a depressed salary in order to fund the high incomes of these local Brahmins.

Not all wealth transfer is going to the upper 3%. And I think Seattle might be a case in point.

I'm f'n PROUD--yes, all caps--to be among the <50K people.
Whether the price of housing for purchase has disconnected from wages can only be judged if the median income of the top X of incomes is analyzed, where X equals (100% - % of population that rents).

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