A recent report by Forbes and Bert Sperling ranked the "coolness" of the 100 largest metro cities in the country. As the article says, factors that contributed to overall rankings included "entertainment and recreation options, the food and drink scene, transit choices, population growth and where young people are living". Forbes crowned the Emerald City the second coolest city in the nation, behind only San Francisco. Seattle Magazine says that having taken the second spot, "you might even say we're the municipal equivalent of Beyoncé, expensive denim jackets and cigarettes in the ‘70s.”
Among the factors helping Seattle’s cool factor are “recreation and the jointly weighted coffee shops and breweries.” And as Sperling observes, “a city’s desirability (or coolness, if you will) drives the housing demand up.” “It would be an anomaly if you found a place that was really really cool but was really really cheap,” he says.
To be sure, Seattle’s housing market is on fire, as the latest CoreLogic Case Shiller index reveals that over the past 12 months, home prices in Seattle have increased 13.2 percent, far outpacing those in major U.S. cities across the country. Recent analysis by William Hillis, Research Editor with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, reveals that despite the run-up in Seattle home prices, the city is still more affordable relative to local incomes than any of its peer metro markets. Real estate analyst Mark Hanson observed that in Seattle, the difference between household income and income needed to buy a median-priced house is about 18 percent, where a city such as San Francisco is currently at 52 percent. Read Hillis’ full report here.