Rising costs hit renters and homebuyers hard

Many households spend a third or more of their income on housing

The central Puget Sound region’s housing market is known for being tough, but 2022 has taken it to a new level.

We analyzed housing affordability data for the latest Puget Sound Trend and found that typical home values grew 112% in the last eight years, jumping from $313,000 to $662,000.

Rents climbed 61% in the same period, increasing from $1,357 to $2,185.

Steeper rents have put a serious crunch on many households, especially those with the lowest incomes.

About one in two households earning less than $50,000 are severely cost burdened. These households spend at least half of their income on housing and have little money left over for other basic needs like food, transportation and medical care or unexpected expenses.

Overall, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx and American Indian/Alaska Native households are more likely to be cost burdened. Most of these households spend a third or more of their incomes on housing.

These differences underscore current and historic inequities in income, wealth and access to housing.

We also looked at Housing Affordability Index data to see how the cost of homeownership compared to incomes.

A score of 100 or higher is good—it means there’s a balance between income and home prices.

But this year, for the first time in a decade, none of the region’s four counties reached 100. Kitsap County was under 100 for the first time. And King and Snohomish counties, already the priciest markets, became even less affordable.

Read the full Puget Sound Trend to learn about other findings on housing affordability in the region.