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Poll: A Third of Seattle Residents Are Considering Leaving, Citing Crime and Costs

One-third of Seattle residents are considering packing up and moving elsewhere, largely citing home prices and crime, according to a Seattle Times/Suffolk University poll conducted in June.

Roughly 33 percent of Seattle residents surveyed say they are seriously considering moving out of the city, while 67 percent say they are not. The survey was conducted with 500 residents by phone from June 12-16 and has a ±4.4 percent margin of error.

Of the residents who say they are considering moving, 37 percent blame rising housing costs, and 34 percent cite public safety as their main reason for wanting to leave.

“Reasons for moving were also closely tied to income levels and homeownership,” according to the survey report.

Overall, renters (44 percent) are more likely than homeowners (27 percent) to say they are considering moving out of the city. Lower-income respondents, especially those making less than $20,000 a year, are more likely to blame housing costs for why they are considering moving.

“Poll data shows this group also reported experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity at the highest rates,” according to the report.

Public safety is the top concern among respondents who make more than $250,000 a year. Higher earners are also more likely to own a home than rent, the survey found.

Out of the respondents who report wanting to move, 80 percent rate the city poorly as a place to live, and 66 percent report feeling unsafe in their neighborhood.

“In comparison, among the two-thirds of Seattleites who did not consider leaving, 88 percent rated the city as an excellent place to live and 72 percent said they felt safe in their own neighborhood,” according to the report. “Notably, the majority of respondents citing housing costs as a major reason for wanting to move out rated Seattle as an excellent place to live, indicating their reluctance to leave if not for affordability.”

The Times noted that in the last three years, costs in the city’s metro area increased 20 percent. The city’s metro area home price index is also 40 percent higher than in 2018, down from 50 percent in 2022, and wages have not kept up with the increases, according to the report.

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