Visualizing Why Everyone Should Move From Detroit To Seattle

Tyler Durden's picture

Between stagnating incomes and centrally-planned spillovers into housing and transportation costs, workers in this country are increasingly pressured to move to more 'all-in affordable' areas (if they can). As a recent study by the Center for Housing Policy shows, the housing and transportation cost burdens of moderate income households living in the 25 largest metro areas problem is getting worse; moderate-income households pay a disproportionate share; Moderate-income homeowners carry heavier cost burdens than renters; and the combined burden of housing and transportation costs is greatest where costs are out of sync with local incomes - not always the places with the highest absolute costs. Of course QE is designed to 'help' homeowners... and yet the middle-class continues to be squeezed.

Via The Center for Housing Policy:

The problem is getting worse. Housing and transportation costs rose faster than income during the 2000s, increasing the burden that these costs placed on already stretched budgets. This held true for each of the 25 largest metropolitan areas, though the disparity was greater in some areas than others. For all households, including homeowners who have paid off their mortgage, housing and transportation together consumed an average of 48 percent of the median household’s income by decade’s end.


Moderate-income households pay a disproportionate share. For households earning 50 to 100 percent of the median income of their metropolitan area, nearly three-fifths (59 percent) of income goes to housing and transportation costs. For these households, the growing costs of place1 are particularly burdensome, leaving relatively little left over for expenses such as food, education, and health care, not to mention savings.


The combined burden of housing and transportation costs is greatest where costs are out of sync with local incomes; these are not always the places with the highest absolute costs. In some metro areas, such as Washington, DC, Boston, and San Francisco, high costs are matched by relatively high incomes, helping moderateincome households better afford their housing and transportation costs. But other regions, such as Riverside-San Bernardino, CA, Miami, and Los Angeles, have moderate or even high housing and transportation costs in spite of relatively low median incomes. In these metro areas, combined cost burdens for moderate-income households are very high, with average burdens ranging from 65 to 72 percent of household income.


Transportation costs still shape differences in the overall affordability of metro areas. Six years later, it remains as important as ever to consider transportation costs along with housing prices in measuring overall affordability. The inclusion of transportation costs affects the relative affordability of many metro areas. For example, housing costs in the Houston region are comparatively affordable as a share of income, ranking eighth out of the 25 regions examined. When transportation costs are included, however, Houston drops into 17th place, as one of the less affordable regions for the combined costs of housing and transportation. In contrast, metro areas such as San Francisco, Boston, and New York are some of the least affordable regions for local moderate-income households when just housing is considered, but are among the most affordable when housing and transportation costs are considered together.


Moderate-income homeowners carry heavier cost burdens than renters. For the typical moderate-income renter, housing and transportation costs consume an average of 55 percent of income. Moderate-income homeowners carrying a mortgage face average costs of nearly 72 percent of income.


Cost burdens for moderate-income households vary substantially within metro areas. Even in metro areas where average cost burdens are relatively affordable, there are many neighborhoods that are out of reach for moderate-income households. In the Philadelphia region, for example, moderate-income households are faced with average housing and transportation costs exceeding 90 percent of their income in some neighborhoods.


Despite lower burdens than homeowners, moderate-income renters are still barely making ends meet in many metro areas. In the Los Angeles metro area, where average housing and transportation costs consume 61 percent of income for moderate-income renters, a typical renter household would not have enough left over at the end of the month to pay for food, health care, and other basic necessities. This would suggest these households are either cutting corners on essentials, or accruing debt.

And here is why people should move from Detroit and Atlanta to Pittsburgh and Seattle (click image for larger - eligible - version) as the ratio of growth-in-costs to growth-in-income for the median-income household is 4.54 in Detroit versus a 1.16 ratio in Seattle:



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CrazyCooter's picture

Not sure anyone cares, but a few years ago I bought a house in an urban area at the peak. I mean THE peak (Sep 2007). Fucking ex wife. Still costing me money. However, I insisted on 1 to 1.25 annual income as the cap. Further, as an engineer, I bought a brick shit house. I probably sank 10% of the total price in core repairs/improvements. The place is now Cadillac in terms of lifestyle.

The property is less than seven miles from down town (i.e. the high rise towers of the city center) and on a bus route. It is also close to very affluent areas, just on the other side but still blue collar.

My rationale at the time was; I can afford it and I can afford the energy to get to work.

After a divorce, eviction of the ex wife, and placement of new tenants, and after a serious consideration of the specter of foreclosure, I put my chips on my instinct. I put the cash in required to keep it.

Why? The suburbs will collapse due to energy costs.

Think I am crazy? I live in AK and I am about 1.5 miles from my job. Working for a 100% renewable energy producer. With a bus option to get to work (if I don't get pissed and decide to walk).

Suck it hippies. I eat lots of salmon and moose die next year. And you can't walk my walk, you just talk it.



P.S. The last time I shot off my mouth, I came in way south on a responder. Sorry about that. I don't keep score, but I took a licking on that. Pony up for your chips because I am online a while. Ooops!

SilverRhino's picture

Fuck, they have high rises in Alaska?    

CrazyCooter's picture

I moved to AK because, per my read of the tea leaves, it was time to get the hell out of dodge. While I am 12 months behind my schedule, I hope to hunt/fish instate in the next 12 and stock the shit out of my freezer. Rice is damn cheap to pile up. So, I am good to go.

I am VERY happy here and hope to stick around many years. I have a list of gripes, but it isn't a relavent issue.

The fact that my place in TX is still (sorta) above water is an expression of my values during the bubble. If Ben wins, I come out ahead in nominal terms. If Ben loses, I have very little down side just based on math.

I bought a good house, with good location, at a low price, put some cash in to fix the short list of issues, and now I got something that will at least break even. Well, other than my pile of old coins.



P.S. To be fair, I have (and continue) to work fast food to float the boat during the "sqeeze". I have had this sort of work ethic my whole life, from fixing everything on my VW beetle in college to now where I make burgers at McDs to fix the math. I have had professional employment as an egineer the whole time ... it just wasn't enough. But you know what ... it was "transitory" ... and now I am about ready to quit and start on an employer footed degree in accounting. And the pay is a lot better. And I am caught up now.

Work ethic bitchez.

Mae Kadoodie's picture

Breaking News-The cities of Detroit and Pittsburgh have agreed to a merger.  The new city shall be known as DePitts.

eatthebanksters's picture

I would love to see everyone from Detroit move to would be a marked improvement to both cities...

CrazyCooter's picture

The problem with detroit (and has been all along) is demographics.

But, that is the problem with the west.

Pay heed, listen, and observe.



ZaphodBeeblebrox's picture

Care to elaborate on Detroit's problem being the demographics? Electronic communication sometimes leaves to much between the lines to be read wrong. Thx -R

Pbn2Au's picture

Looks like three borders of advertisements are not enough. Monetization has now unfortunately taken over pop ups. On the iPhone it is distressing. A sad day for Fight Club.

Orly's picture

Gosh, will everyone just get over it already.  Monetisation.  That's how it works.

What you think, you get it for free?

CrazyCooter's picture

The "internet" is in many ways a "free lunch" culture, and as always it is a function of ignorance.

I like my free information, my free ideas, but I never expected it to be a free ride. After all, I get an amendment, but bets of luck trotting that shit out at a protest.

Every minute spent at a PC is "shit spewed into the air" at the local utility to generate power, infrastructure spent by the internet utility, and time invested by the content producers to say something people care about. In the middle of all that is Google helping you find it.

Monetization is precisely how this process continues. But, I think I reaffirm the comment.



lolmao500's picture

Now just imagine when the interest rates rise... wouldn't surprise me if we see in the future headlines like : 1 million + homeowners kicked out of their homes in the last month.

Professordoomfinger's picture




OK, one out of three

billsykes's picture

Seattle? yuk. so depressing, too much rain and neckbeards. 

Orly's picture

Guh-ross!  Prolly hair on their backs, too.



EvlTheCat's picture


And that is just the women.  Depressing in itself!

James-Morrison's picture

That's the plan.
It keeps the riff-raff out.

tony bonn's picture

"....Of course QE is designed to 'help' homeowners..."

horse crap! qe is designed to continue bankster bonuses, bail them out of their criminally incompetent business failures, and to rape and plunder amerika for the rockefeller axis of evil and the bush crime syndicate.....

topspinslicer's picture

I love the 7 mile - Hoover area -- it's to die for. Used to have nice courts at Harvey Barcus (Farwell) but they stole all the fencing that surrounds the 24 courts making it difficult to fetch stray balls

fourchan's picture

3 bedroom brick homes are 5-10k  here, this survey has its head up is ass.

toady's picture

The talking heads on the local news were just trumpeting this as a 'good news' story. They said phoenix is an 'affordable' city, like Detroit!

XitSam's picture

Phoenix? It's ok. Excluding the housing market. Bad sheriff. Food prices going up. Everything's spread out, so it costs gas to get anywhere. Gotta be able to take the heat. I'll be moving north soon, fewer people, fewer problems.

Detroit? If everyone moves to Seattle, who will commit the crime?

Dasa Slooofoot's picture

I'd love if the *ahem* demographics of Detroit moved to these "keep _____ weird" cities on the Pacific Westcoast.  


The videos of skinny fat hipsters getting punked around on videos would be so worth it. 


Give them their diversity.  Forward.  

toady's picture

Oakland is *ahem* demographically like Detroit. It was like a little piece of home in the bay area.

ifishivote's picture

It cost just over 10k a year for me and the wife to commute to work(LI to Manhattan). In March my subway fare is going up and my monthly LIRR pass is going up another 9%. This will be the 3rd increase in 7 years. My salary can not keep up. The service doesn't get any better!!! All of these increases go right to the unions.  NY will be toast in 10years. I can't wait to get the F out of here.

Dasa Slooofoot's picture

I do the LIRR commute, too.  Luckily I can walk from Penn Station to work, so that cuts out any subway fare for me.  

It's killer and a slap to the face when you find out how much money these "ticket please" conducters make.  

MisterMousePotato's picture

Toll booth operators ... $120k a year.

lolmao500's picture

Soon this will mean moving out of the US entirely.

ZeroAvatar's picture

Yeah, I hear the Moon is lovely this time of year.

BeaverFever's picture

Welfare recepients won't go there. ObamaPhones don't work on the moon.

Earl of Chiswick's picture

visualizing is great but if you're blind it sucks

as does being tased

Blind Man Tasered As Cops Mistake Stick For Sword
ZeroAvatar's picture

"............Why Everyone Should Move From Detroit to Seattle"......


NOW you've done it!    Now you've REALLY done it!

Bay of Pigs's picture

They should raze Detroit and move them all to ChiTown, not Seattle.

Let Barry O and his lil buddy Rahm figure it out.

toady's picture

Or they could raze chitown & move to detroit...

Not much difference either way ....

FeralSerf's picture

Wouldn't it be cheaper to move them to Windsor?

Metalredneck's picture

Winters are much harder once you cross the river. ;-)

Spastica Rex's picture

I sold my 1,400 sqr ft 1927 Seattle home 10 years ago for almost half a million dollars. Seattle is retarded. I now live in a crumbling 1957 rambler in the desert of eastern Washington State. I'm retarded.

fonzannoon's picture

funny shit. I do the Tom Hanks Money Pit laugh everytime my wife points out something else the f'n house needs done.

glenlloyd's picture

I assuming here that when you say 1957 Rambler you mean a car....

Cobb's picture

This site officially sucks now because of the ads. If they don't fix it, then I know many of us will not return. Tyler, from what I've known of this site for years you're working to fix this. If not I guess I had too much trust in you guys.

lolmao500's picture

Ads? What ads? I don't see anything.

/using firefox

Nadaclue's picture

Yes, yes

Move Detroit to Seattle, with my blessing. Seattle is a bunch of Socialist commies that think the rest of the state should support the poor, homeless, disenfranchised and every other variance of the social state. Good chance to show the moderate income fucks just what socialism is about.

ha-ha, I can only wish.