High rent and housing costs have many Seattleites considering other states

Seattle and Washington state have become so expensive to live in that some residents are starting to look for the exit sign.
 The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s 
latest survey revealed that the cost of living is one of the top concerns for Seattle voters.
According to the survey, the cost of living/affordable housing was a top concern of 19 percent of the 700 registered voters in Seattle who took part in the survey. Only homelessness (57 percent) and public safety (45 percent) received more votes.
In fact, when voters were asked if they are actively considering moving out of Seattle, 63 percent said yes; 26 percent said the cost of living was a main reason why they were looking elsewhere.
Rachel Smith, the president and CEO of the Seattle Chamber, spoke to The Center Square in a phone interview about the survey results. Smith said a lot of people are paying more than one-third of their salaries on rent, which can be a reason many residents are thinking of moving away. 
 The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center published a 
data set comparing cost of living in all 50 states and Washington D.C. According to the data, out of an average index of 100 for the cost of housing in the second quarter of 2022, Washington State had a score of 125.5. Oregon scored 144.3; California had a score of 193.2.
 In September, Seattle’s median home value was about $820,000, 
according to Redfin. As for monthly rent, the average is $2,634 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle, according to Rent.com.
Seamus Kearney is one of the renters in Seattle considering moving away. He told The Center Square that he lives in “a dilapidated apartment with too many roommates” to avoid high rent.
Kearney said purchasing a home in the city seems unrealistic as he is looking to settle down eventually. He blames the rise in tech companies in the city such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon.
“Because of tech companies, the cost of living out here is inflated,” Kearney said. “There are a lot of other people just living and working jobs that don’t pay exorbitant salaries.”
Smith said she’s optimistic that if affordable housing is addressed, then there will be significant progress on the number of people who deem the cost of living as a top concern.
 In the chamber’s survey, the majority of voters (over 60 percent) supported building new housing in their own neighborhoods; policies that make it easier to build new housing in commercial areas; and changing regulations to allow for more duplexes and triplexes in Seattle’s residential neighborhoods.