October 16, 2023
By Andy Medici
Inflation has soared over the past two years, and the Seattle metro has distinguished itself as one of the nation’s most expensive places to live. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area ranks as the fi fth least affordable among the nation’s100 largest metros, according to a Business Journals analysis.
The Business Journals looked at Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Regional Price Parity Index data to determine the rankings. The index is a measure of how much goods, housing and other services across the country cost in a specific metro area compared to the national average. Metros with a score below 100 in the index are cheaper than the national average while those above 100 are more expensive.
Seattle was one of 29 metros with an index score of 100 or above overall. Not surprisingly, Seattle rated poorly for housing costs, ranking 91st for affordability among the nation’s largest metros. In the “other services” category, Seattle ranked 97th. But the metro ranked dead last — 100th — for goods, with San Francisco close behind, at 99th.Still, Seattle rated cheaper than national average for utilities, ranking 60th.
Other Pacific Northwest metros fared better in the index, including Portland, which ranked 18th least affordable, and Spokane, which was 59th most affordable.
The nation’s most affordable metros
Nationally, McAllen, Texas, ranked as the most affordable large metro.
McAllen was 87.7 in 2021, the latest data available. The housing index for McAllen checked in at 56.2, significantly below the national average.
Jackson, Mississippi; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee; Toledo, Ohio; and Memphis, Tennessee; also ranked near the top of the list. See More
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