Talk all you want about deflated footballs and inflated ticket prices, the real competition worth watching is in housing. Seattle and Boston are two of the nation’s hottest housing markets, and while many of their stats are similar, some aspects are winners, some losers.
Running the basics, per the U.S. Census, RealtyTrac and Redfin:
So clearly, given incomes and home prices, it’s slightly more affordable to buy a home in Boston, but it’s far more expensive to rent. The vacancy rates are the same in both cities. For those of you who love older homes, Boston is a winner because nearly two-thirds of the homes there were built before 1960, compared to just half of Seattle homes.
Home sales have been more robust in Seattle recently than in Boston, at least compared to sales a year ago, but Boston is getting more supply than Seattle, which could mean far better sales in the spring market.
Seattle’s homes may not be older, but its population is, with a median age of 36 versus 31 in Boston. Of course there are more women in Boston than men, compared with the equal split in Seattle.
For livablility—I’ve lived in both, and it’s a tough comparison. Boston is more of a walking city, but Seattle’s views and waterways are nothing short of stunning. Both cities are near enough to oceans and mountains for a day trip, but for travel around town, Boston easily surpasses Seattle in public transportation. Each city has a unique, strong character, but Boston wins on history, while Seattle’s heavy tech center wins on the future.
For sushi: Seattle. For chowder: Boston.
To me, it’s a toss-up, so take a look at some real estate eye candy from both: