Runoff of Chinese Money !, Seattle invaded by investors, Portland Housing Now Unaffordable
Seattle is in the eye of the housing affordability storm
The rising cost of housing in America’s most desirable “creative” cities troubles Richard Florida, urbanist thinker and author. In those cities, the cost of housing is affordable only to the creative class themselves. The rest of the working population — those in service industry or manufacturing — struggle to keep up with rising housing prices.
Florida says what’s happening in Seattle, specifically, is surprising even to someone like him, “supposedly in the know.”
“Seattle was more affordable than the Bay Area, by probably half, but it was just as expensive, if not more expensive at the metropolitan level, than metropolitan Boston, metropolitan Washington, D.C., and metropolitan New York City,” Florida said.
“Seattle is really in the eye of this storm of a new urban crisis of growing inequality, growing segmentation, and growing housing unaffordability.”
Experts say that demand for renting and buying units has risen for various reasons, including historically low mortgage rates and fewer homes being available. The median cost of a two-bedroom apartment with utilities in the Portland metro rose from $1,105 a month in 2016 to $1,650 in 2020, according to MaineHousing data. That’s nearly $7,000 more every year, and it has seemingly risen more since.
Many out-of-staters have moved to Maine since the pandemic as people move away from large urban centers and seek locations with more outdoor opportunities, leading to fewer rentals to go around.
“There’s just simply a lot more people here than there used to be,” said Brit Vitalius, president of the Southern Maine Landlord Association. “Primarily because COVID just changing people’s perspective on where they can live.”
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