DAVE ROSS

Why the pandemic has Puget Sound residents leaving cities for the suburbs

Jan 23, 2021, 7:10 AM

Over the last year, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the housing market, both in the Puget Sound region and across the country. One aspect of that is known as “pandemic relocation,” which has seen people working from home leaving city centers behind for the suburbs.

Buying Puget Sound home harder ‘than any time in past 40 years’

According to recently-released U.S. Postal Service data, over 15.9 million people moved between February and July 2020, a nearly 4% increase compared to the same period in 2019. That’s a trend that’s played out in the Puget Sound region as well.

“We’ve certainly already seen that migration away from King County into Snohomish County and also down into Pierce County,” Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross.

That said, it’s also “not black and white,” Gardner adds.

“It doesn’t mean that everyone is going to leave the city because, in my opinion, the work from home theory, it’s little bit overblown,” he clarified.

Seattle housing market sees ‘massive changes’ in pandemic landscape

By that, Gardner means people in the region aren’t, say, moving from King to Skagit County and extending potential commute times by hours. Rather, they’re more likely moving somewhere slightly further away from their workplaces, but still within a reasonable commuting distance.

“They’re going to stay relatively close, put up with a fairly lousy commute when they have to go into the office, but still move further out,” he described. “So we are seeing that relocation, but it’s not as extensive as some people like to think it is.”

Over time, Gardner expects this trend to lead to “less emphasis on our urban centers and more on the suburbs.”

“You do that, and that’s obviously going to invigorate those markets over time,” he predicted.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

balloon...
Dave Ross

Ross: Chinese balloon shot down was ripe for counter-surveillance

What I can say is that if I were in charge of monitoring China, I’d be tracking every Chinese balloon from the moment it broke 1000 feet
1 day ago
ChatGPT...
Michael Simeona

Watch Dave Ross try to outsmart his new AI friend ChatGPT

If you've listened to Dave Ross these past few months, you know his fascination with the new AI tool called ChatGPT.
2 days ago
balloon...
Dave Ross

Ross: Was it a Chinese spy balloon, or luxury space travel prototype?

The defense department says it has been tracking a huge Chinese balloon over Montana
4 days ago
police...
Dave Ross

Ross: ‘Police used as substitute for properly funding social services’

The reason we keep seeing abuses like the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis. It’s rooted in American culture.
5 days ago
millenials...
Dave Ross

Ross: More millennials need their parents help, but for how much longer

Dave was shocked to hear about the latest statistics from Money.com on the number of millennials being subsidized by their parents.
6 days ago
morning...
Dave Ross

Ross: Morning people have the ideal lifestyle, it’s just science!

When I took this morning job, there wasn’t much competition. It was basically, "we need someone who can be here at 4:45 a.m.”
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Why the pandemic has Puget Sound residents leaving cities for the suburbs