High Seattle Home Prices Now The Subject Of Tasteless Bus Ads

This bus ad was spotted by Redditor /u/moroccahamed on /r/SeattleWA:

Tasteless Codefellows Bus Ad
You know who can afford a house in Seattle? SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS.

I feel like an ad with this kind of message is more likely to add to the already high level of animosity toward software developers than it is to get people to sign up for a coding academy.

Also, learning to code at a code academy isn’t likely to be a magic wand that allows you to afford a home in Seattle. The median price of a house (i.e. single-family) in Seattle last month was $722,250. In order to afford a home that expensive at today’s interest rates you would need to earn about $140,000. According to Code Fellows’ own website (screenshot), the “average starting salary” of their customers is “$70K+,” only about half of what you would need to earn to afford the median-priced home.

Even in the cheapest part of Seattle—NWMLS area 385, Central Seattle SW / Beacon Hill—the median price was $559,950. If we take a more generous salary estimate of $97,000—the average software developer salary across Seattle according to Glassdoor (screenshot)—we still come up short of the $109,000 needed to make a home in SW Seattle affordable.

According to the third-party site Course Report, about 69 percent of Code Fellows graduates earned less than $80,000 after completing their courses. Six percent of their graduates did report earning $110,000 or more, so there is at least a slim chance that you might be able to afford to buy a home in the cheapest parts of south Seattle after completing the Code Fellows courses. More likely though, you’re not part of the lucky few and both you and your significant other are going to need to become software developers to afford a modest house in Seattle.

And of course that’s not even considering the question of how these newly-minted software developers are going to come up with over $100,000 to make a 20 percent down payment. It might be a bit difficult after spending over $20,000 on coding courses.

While the ad may be totally tasteless, at least Code Fellows was responsive to feedback. According to GeekWire, they have already pulled the ads.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 251

    By MGSpiffy @ 249:

    A Beautiful day, and I’m batching it for the weekend. So I decided on the way home from the store to take the ‘scenic route’ – about 11 miles around the area. It’s been a while since I’ve done that.

    Holy Snackcakes is the Inventory Out There! I swear there was a ‘For Sale’ or ‘Open House’ Sign every 100 yards the entire way. Waaay more than I’ve remember seeing since I’ve moved to the area a few years ago.

    By Minnie @ 250:

    I’m curious which area you are referring to…in King County we are at historic lows of inventory, and especially so since it’s Memorial Day weekend.
    I have noticed that *more* agents seem to be advertising Open Houses with signs nowadays, but I don’t think that represents more inventory, just better marketing skills.

    I think MGSpiffy was just talking about the number of open houses, not total inventory. And you’re right, it is better marketing skills.

    I remember years ago arguing with agents who claimed that open houses didn’t do anything to sell a house. Now that the goal is to have as many offers as you can so that you can pick the highest and best, just about every house has an open house now–even vacant listings, which probably need them the least since it’s easy to show vacant listings.

    What I told agents years ago who thought open houses didn’t do any good is that they were just being lazy. I think this market proves that. The more people who can get inside and see a house the more likely it is to sell, the faster it will sell and the more offers it will generate.

  2. 252
    MGSpiffy says:

    Re: Kary @ 251

    Yes, probably 60% of the signs were “Open House” signs. Still, the total number I saw was high.

    Another thing I noticed was a good number of new constructions – all teardowns of older, smaller homes. Not a one would be under $1M.

  3. 253
    Sid says:

    What’s up with Zillow. Zestimates spiking in many areas (I’m looking at east side mostly).

  4. 254
    sleepless says:

    Here we go again, just as i said, thank the government for the turmoils in real estate: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/business/kushner-trump-china-green-cards.html?_r=1

  5. 255
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Sid @ 253 – From my perspective as a former Californian, I draw comparisons of the area to parts of California. For example, the incline remind me of the Marin hills, that is, the homes that are not in a cookie cutter development. And with climate change, the weather will likely adjust as well. The cookie cutter developments are huge baby incubators, and so the area lends itself to procreation and families. Pricewise, in comparison to the Bay Area, San Diego or LA, you get a lot of bang for the buck. And you get the Lovely Maria as US Senator, and possibly Hero Dave as US Representative.

  6. 256
    redmondjp says:

    WOO HOO! Amazon hits $1000/share!

    Pink Ponies for everyone!

  7. 257
    Sid says:

    By Sid @ 195:

    By Sid @ 187:

    AMZN to cross $1000 this week. Should put a smile on many faces in the region.

    Any moment now. Have a sell order at $1000.01


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