With an overall score of 114.568, the Seattle region landed fifth on a ranking of “least affordable metros,” topped only by #1 San Francisco, #2 San Diego, #3 Honolulu and #4 New York. Los Angeles ranked #6.
The analysis of the nation’s 100 largest metros was published last month by The Business Journals. Researchers used Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Regional Price Parity Index (RPP) to determine the rankings. It measures the cost of goods, housing and other services.
Least Affordable Metros
|AREA||OVERALL INDEX SCORE (Rank)||GOODS INDEX (Rank)||HOUSING INDEX (Rank)||UTILITIES INDEX (Rank)|
|1. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA||119.832 (#1)||113.38 (#99)||213.245 (#99)||167.478 (#99)|
|2. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA||115.149 (#2)||107.366 (#94)||187.721 (#998)||166.621 (#98)|
|3. Urban Honolulu||114.739 (#3)||110.595 (#98)||115.526 (#92)||180.916 (#100)|
|4. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||114.58 (#4)||104.404 (#80)||159.832 (#94)||129.992 (#79)|
|5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA||114.568 (#5)||114.909 (#100)||152.86 (#91)||94.547 (#59)|
Seattle was among 29 metro areas with an overall index score of 100 or above. Metros with a score above 100 are more expensive than the national average while those below 100 are cheaper.
Portland ranked 18th least affordable. Spokane was 59th most affordable.
The most expensive metros tended to be clustered in the Northeast and in California. Also among the “least affordable” areas were Denver and Boise, Idaho, plus a few other popular migration destinations.
The least expensive, or most affordable, metros are in the Midwest and South, thanks largely to lower housing costs. The Business Journals ranked McAllen, Texas as the most affordable large metro. Other areas ranked near the top of the most affordable list were Jackson, Mississippi; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee; Toledo, Ohio; and Memphis, Tennessee.