Want to buy a home in Seattle? You need to make $71,000 a year.

Yes, the flood of tech workers is driving up home prices in the Seattle area. But at least it isn’t as bad as San Francisco.

The median home price in the Seattle area is $352,400, which puts the city No. 7 on a list of the most expensive cities in the country to buy a home, according to new data released this week by mortgage finance company HSH.com.

To afford that, a person would have to make $71,702 per year, according to the company. Nationally, a person needs to make $47,253 per year to afford a home.

But compare that to No. 1-ranked San Francisco, where the median home price is $748,300 and a person would have to make $141,416 to afford to buy a home, and things look pretty good here in Seattle.

In many of the hottest Seattle neighborhoods, though, home prices are far higher than the median. That’s driving buyers outside the central core, which is helping the markets in nearby Snohomish and Pierce counties.

The median prices of condo and house sales that closed in April were up more than 13 percent in Pierce and Snohomish counties compared to a year ago.

Demand from buyers from outside the region is driving prices up as tech companies open offices in the Puget Sound region and bring workers here from away.

One out of four people in the Bay Area has searched for a home outside that region, and many are looking here. One in every 13 prospective homebuyers who live in the Bay Area is looking for homes only in the Pacific Northwest, according to data from online real estate brokerage Redfin.

 Emily Parkhurst, Puget Sound Business Journal

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