Seattle's housing market has many prices out of reach of the middle class making places like Spokane the next best thing for a home and job.
Spokane, Washington, is a thriving city in eastern Washington. It is the largest city in Spokane County and the second-largest city in the state after Seattle. Spokane's size and location make it appealing to a lot of people looking for a new place to call home.
Spokane is large enough to offer the perks of city living—think walking to work, a thriving downtown, and a great selection of restaurants—without the drawbacks, like terrible traffic and overcrowding, of a big city. Spokane also offers easy access to skiing, hiking, and more, so residents can get out of town and enjoy nature.
We spoke to a colleague at Best of Spokane Moving Company and it turns out that the moving companies in both Seattle and Spokane are seeing a surge in move requests coming out of Seattle.
Great Migration to Spokane
Over the past few years, people have been moving to Spokane in droves, and a lot of those people are coming from the Seattle area. Data from the United States Postal Service (USPS) show that roughly 7% of Seattle households moved out of the city last year. The number of households migrating from Seattle to Spokane tripled over the past year.
Why the Shift to Spokane?
While there is no one reason, the high cost of living in the city coupled with the increasing availability of working from home has spurred many families to move. Simply put, when people can work from home and make the same salary in any location, many no longer want to live in Seattle. That same Seattle salary may buy a larger house, a bigger yard, and a better quality of life in another part of the country.
When contemplating a move, many people feel most comfortable staying in the same greater area. They want to move away without moving too far away. Data from the USPS show that 70% of the households that left Seattle stayed in Washington state. One of the most popular destinations? Spokane.
Comparing Seattle vs. Spokane
Compared with Seattle, Spokane's housing market is extremely competitive. In October 2021, the average sale price of a home in Seattle was $748,000, and its suburbs were similarly priced. In comparison, the average sale price of a home in Spokane was $350,000! For some families, home ownership in Seattle is out of reach but very affordable in Spokane.
Life in Greater Spokane
If you are a Seattle-area resident thinking of fleeing the city, consider Spokane and its surrounding areas. Whether you are looking for life in the city, the suburbs, or the country, this area has something to offer.
Spokane Offers City Life and Country Lifestyles
If you like city life, then the city of Spokane might be for you. If you are used to spending hours each day commuting, you'll be thrilled with Spokane traffic, which is much less than Seattle's. You may reclaim hours of your day! Your paycheck should stretch farther as well. Not only is the cost of housing lower here but so is the overall cost of living. Groceries and utilities are cheaper than the national average in Spokane. With the money you save, you can take advantage of the many vineyards, microbreweries, and hip restaurants the city has to offer.
Not everyone likes city living, and if you are one of those people, check out Spokane Valley, Washington. This small city, located just east of Spokane itself, is the largest suburb of Spokane. Its housing market is similar to Spokane, with an average sale price of $365,000 in October 2021. Its location is ideal for people commuting to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho or Spokane.
Small Town and Country Lifesyles Abound in Spokane County
For small-town life, consider Liberty Lake, Washington, which lies east of Spokane Valley. This town is located on Liberty Lake and is also close to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The housing market is hot in Liberty Lake right now, with home prices increasing 39% in the past year for an average sale price of $570,000.
If you truly want to get away from it all, rural Spokane County has options for you. If a small town or suburb does not appeal to you after years of city living, there are plenty of remote properties available outside of the city limits for people looking for real peace and quiet. Choose from an existing home or buy a lot to build your custom dream home. Country living provides easy access to the hiking, fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities that make Spokane County famous.
Greater Spokane, Less Clouds and More Sun Than Seattle
No matter where you settle in greater Spokane, you will be sure to enjoy the sun, a welcome change from Seattle's overcast skies! The mountains between Seattle and Spokane block the clouds that keep Seattle constantly rainy. Spokane is a desert that sees roughly 200 sunny days each year and gets less than half the annual rainfall of Seattle.
But just because it is a desert does not mean Spokane and the surrounding area is hot. This part of the country experiences all four seasons, with the temperature ranging from the 20s in the winter to the 80s and 90s in the summer. This climate means that residents can take advantage of local lakes in the summer and ski resorts in the winter.
What to do in Greater Spokane
No matter where you choose to live in greater Spokane, you will have access to some of the most beautiful outdoor areas in the country. There is no shortage of outdoor activities or scenic vistas for residents. If you like to ski or snowboard, there are five world-class ski resorts within a two-hour radius of Spokane. Lake Liberty, Lake Coeur d'Alene, and hundreds of other lakes offer plenty of opportunities for boaters and fishermen. In addition, hikers will enjoy the trails within the city of Spokane as well as the countless options in the countryside. Take a day trip or spend a few nights experiencing the great outdoors in greater Spokane.
There's something for everybody in Spokane County. Come see for yourself why so many people are moving to Spokane, Washington.