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Photos via Zillow.
Photos via Zillow

If you live in a region with a thriving tech industry, you’ve probably noticed your dollar doesn’t go as far in the housing market as it used to.

Svenja Gudell

There are a few factors causing rent and home values to rise, says Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, the Seattle-based real estate media company. Most notably, when tech companies do well they hire — and they tend to hire young people who look to buy or rent entry-level homes. This increases demand faster than inventory can be supplied.

“The tech sector’s been doing really well,” said Gudell. “We’ve seen a lot of job growth in tech and a lot of income growth in tech as well, so a lot of these cities have attracted new people…Inventory is pretty tight given how many people are looking for homes, especially first-time home buyers. If you think about a lot of the millennials that are active in tech, buying their first home, they’re having an especially hard time breaking into those markets and affordability is becoming a real issue.”

Gudell also noted that many people who lost their homes in the 2008 crash are still renting, and many who would like to buy a home in these regions can’t afford to do so.

“They’re staying renters,” she said. “You have millennials that would like to buy but they can’t because there are not a lot of homes for them to buy, so you just have a lot more renters now and there aren’t enough rental units out there. So, over the last two or so years, we’ve seen very rapid rental appreciation.”

Booming tech industries certainly affect the housing market, but some of these regions are seeing faster appreciation than others. GeekWire used Zillow data from January 2016 to compare how far your dollar goes in the nation’s top tech hubs. Continue reading for the results.

Bay Area*

Median Home Value: $865,350

Median Rent: $3,395

$300,000 buys:

Photos via Zillow.
Photos via Zillow.



55 Page St APT 212, San Francisco, CA 94102. 1 bed 1 bath 685 sqft. Listed for $297,288.

$500,000 buys:

sf house


444 14th St, San Francisco, CA 94103. Studio 1 bath 363 sqft. Listed for $495,000.

$1,500 Rents:


357 Willow St, San Jose, CA 95110. 1 bed 1 bath 369 sqft. Renting for $1,495/month.


Median Home Value: $371,100

Median Rent: $1,939

$300,000 buys:

zillow5 zillow6


7323 Sand Point Way NE UNIT 212, Seattle, WA 98115. 2 beds 2 baths 928 sqft. Listed for $315,000.

$500,000 buys:



2107 NE 75th St, Seattle, WA 98115. 3 beds 2 baths 1,260 sqft. Listed for $499,950.

$1,500 rents:

Zillow10 zillow9

503 E Thomas St, Seattle, WA 98102. 1 bed 1 bath 600 sqft. Renting for $1,500/month.

New York

Median Home Value: $382,400

Median Rent: $2,394

$300,000 buys:

zillow11 zillow12

345 E 77th Street 2i # 2I,New York, NY 10021. Studio 1 bath 300 sqft. Listed for $300,000.

$500,000 buys

zillow14 zillow13


5 Tudor City Pl APT 1519, New York, NY 10017. 1 bed 1 bath — sqft. Listed for $510,000.

$1,500 Rents:

zillow27 zillow28

230 W 147th St APT 3S, New York, NY 10039. 1 bed 1 bath 750 sqft. Renting for $1,500/month.


Median Home Value: $384,500

Median Rent: $2,257

$300,000 buys:

zillow15 zillow16

56 Charlesgate E APT 148,Boston, MA 02215. Studio 1 bath 295 sqft. Listed for $279,000.

$500,000 buys:

zillow17 zillow18

43 Fairview St, Boston, MA 02131. 3 beds 2 baths 1,306 sqft. Listed for $499,000.

$1,500 rents:

zillow19 zillow20

(Undisclosed Address) Boston, MA 02136. 1 bed 1 bath 600 sqft. Renting for $1,500/month.


Median Home Value: $244,000

Median Rent: $1,684

$300,000 buys:

zillow21 zillow22

2401 Stone River Dr, Austin, TX 78745. 3 beds 2 baths 1,653 sqft. Listed for $300,000.

$500,000 buys:

zillow23 zillow24

7004 Via Correto Dr, Austin, TX 78749. 4 beds 4 baths 3,409 sqft

$1,500 rents:

zillow25 zillow26

1601 Royal Crest Dr, Austin, TX 78741. 4 beds 2 baths 1,188 sqft

*Bay Area statistics are averaged from Zillow data on San Francisco and San Jose.

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