An explosion of job growth in the hearts of America’s largest cities has driven the recovery from the worst economic recession in modern history, sending wages soaring and unemployment rates plummeting.
But along with a growing number of high-wage, high-skill jobs, home prices are rising in urban cores, at a much faster clip than in suburbs or rural areas. It’s an indication that the decades-long trend of upper-income residents moving out of urban areas is reversing itself.
Increasingly, metropolitan leaders say that higher housing prices are threatening their middle class, forcing residents to choose between exorbitant housing costs or long commutes from the suburbs.
“We’ve had such great business opportunity and growth, but with it has come great challenges,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said in an interview. “We’re really a city where people can’t afford to live anymore. A lot of people of color have been displaced and pushed out of the city, the middle class can’t afford to live in Seattle.”