As Seattle grapples with a tech boom, low housing inventory, and soaring rents, many longtime residents worry the city could go the way of San Francisco or New York. The chart below isn’t likely to offer them much comfort.
RENTCafé, a site for apartment seekers, looked at rent prices and square footage of apartments in the nation’s 30 most-populous cities to find out how far $1,500 a month would go. Seattleites who’ve been apartment hunting in the past couple years won’t be surprised to learn it landed among the 10 cities that offer the least amount of space for that price.
The average renter in Seattle can get 607 square feet for $1,500, putting the city at No. 7 on the list. That might seem outrageous to people who lived here before rents started their rapid ascent, but it could be worse.
Take New York, a city infamous for high rents and tiny apartments. Renters there can get a mere 271 square feet for $1,500. Good thing it’s the city that never sleeps because we’re pretty sure that square footage can’t even fit a full sized bed.
San Francisco, where $1,500 buys an average 342 square feet, is a close second. Its neighbor, San Jose, is No. 4 on the list. The Bay Area is facing an extreme housing crunch, due to a growing population of high-paid tech workers and laws that make development difficult. While some worry San Francisco is a bleak picture of Seattle’s future, others say the Emerald City is succeeding at dealing with growth where the Bay Area failed.
What do you think? Tell us in the comments.