What do Residents in Washington’s 25 Largest Cities Spend on Housing?

Ryan Nickum

May 11

City Profiles

WA homeowner costs

The general rule of homeownership is you shouldn’t spend more than 28% of your income on housing. While that number is somewhat arbitrary, it certainly doesn’t match what many Washington state residents are paying during a time of skyrocketing home prices.

Using the latest data from the U.S. Census’ Quick Facts, Estately found the percentage of the median household income for homeowners in Washington’s 25 largest cities that was spent on mortgages, real estate taxes, various insurances, and other costs and fees. The results show Bellingham homeowners spend the highest percentage of their income on their homes (45.83%), while Sammamish, which has the highest income of any large Washington city, spends the lowest percentage (24.01%).

Overall, east is best when it comes to what Washington residents spend on their homes. The lowest percentages were found in affluent cities east of Lake Washington (Sammamish—25th, Redmond—22nd, and Kirkland—20th) and in cities east of the Cascades (Richland—24th, Pasco—23rd, and Kennewick—21st). The highest spending percentages were found scattered along the I-5 corridor (Bellingham—1st, Burien—2nd, Lakewood—3rd, Everett—4th, Seattle—5th, and Federal Way—6th).

So is the situation similar for renters? Yes.

Overall, Washington renters face the same conditions as Washington home buyers. The exceptions are Seattle renters, who pay a significantly lower percentage, and Lacey renters, who pay a higher percentage.

Related Articles

35 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Washington State

Home to over 7 million people, Washington state has incredible wilderness areas, modern cities, and a diversity of geography and people. Sure, it rubs up against Canada, and it's littered with earthquake fault lines and explosive volcanoes, but it does have plenty of upsides

Read more

19 Things to Know About Living in Tacoma

Located on Commencement Bay in the south Puget Sound, Tacoma is the third most populated city in Washington state, and an increasingly popular city to call home.

Read more

25 Reasons Washington Is Better Than Oregon

What is it about Washington state that makes it superior to its neighbor to the south? Could it be its residents' dashing good looks, superior hygiene, or ability to commune with wild animals?

Read more

10 Washington State Cities On The Rise In 2014

Washington state has no shortage of great cities, but which are the state's most up-and-coming cities? Estately set out to determine this by ranking the state's most populated cities from those most on the rise to those which are lagging behind the furthest.

Read more

Map of Washington State’s Cultural Differences

From the rain-soaked forests of the coast to the fertile, rolling hills of the Palouse, Washington state is a great place to live. However, choosing where in this great state to buy a home is a conundrum.

Read more

29 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Bellingham

A hidden gem of the Pacific Northwest, little Bellingham, Washington, is a pretty college town just a handful of miles from the Canadian border. Is it right for you?

Read more

13 Things to Know About Living in Renton, Washington

Located on the southeast shore of Lake Washington, Renton is Washington state's 8th largest city and an increasingly popular place to call "home."

Read more

How Family Friendly Are Washington’s 20 Biggest Cities?

The number of parents opting to start their families in the city has been a rising trend of the last few decades. But choosing which city to call home can be a difficult decision.

Read more

23 Reasons NOT to Live in Seattle

There are 326,202 men in Seattle, but only one of them is Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin—the city's most handsome man (and a Stanford grad). Your odds of dating him are very low. There's probably a waiting list.

Read more

13 Struggles Only Bainbridge Islanders Can Relate To

Bainbridge Island routinely finds itself on lists of the best places to live, but that doesn't mean the locals don't have their challenges. Here are 13 struggles only people from Bainbridge Island can relate to...

Read more

Which Washington Cities Are Home To The Most Enthusiastic Seahawks Fans?

Seattle Seahawks fans can be found in droves across Washington state, but Estately wondered which cities in the state were home to highest concentration of Seahawks fans.

Read more

12 Things You Should Know About Poulsbo

Poulsbo is known by many nicknames: The Jewel of Kitsap County, Little Norway, Valhalla on Puget Sound, Paul's Bow, Dampnessville, Lil' Lutefisk, Big Dreary, The Lute, and Gateway to Lemolo. And while this Kitsap County town has many monikers, the rest of the state probably only knows of Poulsbo for its Norwegian heritage.

Read more