The University of Washington Center for Real Estate Research in Seattle, WA publishes reports about the economy and the real estate sector in Washington State. One of their reports is the housing affordability index.
The Index tracks affordability in all Washington counties. We are tracking King (where Seattle is located), Pierce (Tacoma) and Thurston (Olympia) counties and how Thurston County compares to its northern neighbors.
The Index looks at median income and median-priced homes if the buyer was buying a home with a 20% down payment on a 30-year fixed-rate loan.
An index higher than 100 means the market is affordable; below 100 is less affordable.
As you can see, Thurston County has an index rating of 125. This means our median income buyer could afford to buy a home 25% more expensive than the median-priced home. Right now, the median home price in Thurston County is $315,000.
Conversely, King County’s reading of 71 means that the median income buyer needs to find a home that costs 29% less than the median price in order to have an “affordable” home. King County's median home price is $656,000.
Under this Index, the Thurston County housing market is the most affordable of all major counties along I-5. This is one of the big reason our county has steady inbound migration.
Fourteen years ago, I made my move to the Olympia area and enjoyed how far our housing dollar stretched. I have also helped many Seattle-ites make the move to Olympia. If you are considering a change in scenery and would like to stretch your home-buying budget further, consider Olympia. And call me - I can help.