Home Economics

Is There an Exodus from Washington State?

And where are former residents moving to?

By Angela Cabotaje October 28, 2022

Depending on who you are, you either love Seattle or you hate it (or both). In Before Times, your general sentiment about a place might be the reason why you choose to move to a different state, or why you came here in the first place. The pandemic, of course, changed a lot of things, with former Washingtonians seeking space, cheaper living costs, and more flexible job opportunities elsewhere. 

According to a recent report by a moving company database, for every 94 searches about moving into Washington state so far this year, there have been 100 searches about moving out. That puts the in-to-out ratio at 0.94. Meanwhile, search data from 2020 and 2021 was at 1.09 and 1.04, respectively, meaning more folks were looking to move into the state in years past.

So where are people moving to and from? In the report, California (13.8 percent), Texas (11.9 percent), and Florida (8.71 percent) were the top three states welcoming former Washingtonians. Funnily enough, new transplants to the Evergreen State are coming from those same three areas: California (25.91 percent), Texas (10.41 percent), and Florida (4.73 percent). 

For the report, the company collected search data from January 1 through September 5 of this year, and only from searches on its site—about 20,000—so it's not a comprehensive measure by any means, but it could be a symptom of the formerly sky-high housing market prices and cost of living.

That said, according to the most recent census data from June of 2022, the net migration of people in Washington was up by about 83,300 from the same time in the previous year. Whether that's a result of the brisk housing market at the end of 2021, before the recent cooldown, we won't know until the next census report in 2023.

Until then, here's what's happening elsewhere in real estate news...

Love and marriage mortgage

A recent survey conducted by real estate brokerage and listing company Orchard found that 25 percent of couples in America would consider looking at real estate with someone after only six months. Is it housing market desperation or true love? You decide.

About that dead body...

The Olympian reports a Clark County real estate agent discovered a dead body while showing a vacant Camas property to a potential buyer. A person of interest in the case was deceased the next day from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, but the situation highlights the safety issues real estate agents face. In a 2021 National Association of Realtors poll, 14 percent of respondents said they feared for their personal safety or personal information in 2021.

Mind the rent gap

After seven months of growth, rents finally went down in the Seattle area in September. But all that growth hasn't been the same across the region. Since March 2020, rents in Seattle's urban core have rebounded by 6 percent, according to Apartment List. Rental prices in the suburbs, however, grew by 23.8 percent during that same time period.

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