It’s no secret that the greater Seattle area is one of the fastest growing regions in America. In 2014. the Census Bureau released data that showed that Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue was among the top 10 metro areas with the largest numeric increase. Between 2012 and 2013, more than 57,500 people became locals.
But hang on. Is that a good thing? Sure, people are disgruntled about the traffic, but are most locals excited to see the area attracting more people from across the globe? How’s is this growth effecting the quality of life and affordable housing? A new Charles Schwab survey has some scientific numbers on the general consensus on how things are going. 1,000 residents for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area shared their perspectives on the local economy, managing wealth and life here.
People generally are pretty happy here. 76 percent of respondents rated the area as great for quality of life. 80 percent think it has great job opportunities. Seven out of 10 think the local economy is outperforming the national economy.
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue is a region of transplants. Only 17 percent of residents have lived in the greater Seattle area all their lives.
Yes, people are pretty mad about the traffic. 70 percent think the area is one of the worst regions for commute times. 46 percent think it’s one of the worst for infrastructure (roads, highways, bridges, railways). And 81 percent think the traffic is only going to get worse in 2016.
95 percent of residents agree that the area is a global technology hub. And a pretty good place to work. 85 percent see it as a place for innovation. 80 percent know it as a place for young professionals and a place that fosters career growth. 7 out of 10 see it as a business-friendly environment for large companies and a place for entrepreneurs.
It’s getting expensive. The study found that an average annual net worth of $3 million is needed to be considered “wealthy.” Nearly half of residents said living in the area hurts their ability to reach their financial goals because the cost of living is too high. However, about 70 percent feel good about the property values in their neighborhood and are confident they will reach their financial goals. 80 percent believe the local economy is steady or becoming more prosperous.
People want to live in Bellevue: Bellevue is the most preferred neighborhood to live in, but the cost of living there is an obstacle. 72 percent said their barrier for living in Bellevue and other top neighborhoods (Mercer Island, Downtown Seattle) was because it’s too expensive.