Seattle gets more expensive; now 6th costliest US city

KIRO 7 saw this Seattle Times column and reporter Deedee Sun dug into the data. Her report is below, and a response is at the bottom of this story. A link to Gene Balk’s Seattle Times column is here.

The cost of living in Seattle has visitors saying no thanks.

“I couldn't imagine living up here with the cost of things up here. It's insane,” said Tom Hoffman, visiting from Vancouver, Washington.

Seattle is now the sixth most expensive city to live in, jumping up three spots in quarter three of 2017, compared to quarter two.

“Yeah, it’s expensive,” said Margaret Darcher, who works in South Lake Union. “That feels like it’s in line with what I experience.”

The cost of living index has hundreds of organizations shop, and collect data every quarter across the US for the past 50 years.

“It allows cities to see what does it really cost to live here. And I think it's beneficial to local stakeholders as they try to attract residents and businesses,” said Jennie Allison, program manager at the Center for Regional Competitiveness.

One category where Seattle ranks most costly - is miscellaneous goods and services. That includes things like haircuts; Seattle is the most expensive place in America to get a cut, costing $31 dollars on average here, compared to  $28 in San Francisco, and $23 in Manhattan. The category does not include beauty salons, which have their own category.

David Notik says he gets his hair cut downtown.

“He was charging me $35 and he now upped it I think to $43,” Notik said.

The price in Vancouver, Wash.?

“Fifteen dollars,” Hoffman said.

Seattle is also the most expensive city to grab a burger - an average hamburger costs $6.26. Compare that to $3.49 for a burger in Phoenix.

Seattle is also the most expensive city for dry cleaning, with an average bill of nearly $19. The bill averages to $8.43 in Jacksonville.

Seattle ranks 14th most expensive in the country for housing, but a spokesperson for the survey results says housing price increases, actually played a big part in boosting Seattle's cost-of-living rank.

“The housing really stands out,” Allison said. “Housing price alone accounts for 20 percent of the composite index.”

CREC will release overall analysis for 2017 next week.

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