Issaquah ranks as the top commuter community within 30 miles of Seattle, followed by Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Redmond and Shoreline, according to a study released by real estate blog Commercial Café.
The study assessed towns located within 5 to 30 miles of Seattle based on the following variables: commuting time to Seattle, housing values, crime rate and school rating. Mercer Island led the contenders in three of the four metrics, including having the shortest commute time (22 minutes), but it ranked at the bottom of the Top 10 list of best commuter communities because of its high housing costs.
“We found that the average commute time to Seattle [for the Top 10 commuter communities] is roughly 30 minutes, with a 17-minute difference between the shortest (Mercer Island, with 22 minutes) and longest travel times (Shoreline, with 39 minutes),” the study states. “Housing costs also vary significantly from $311,300 in Mountlake Terrace at the low end, to a whopping $1,034,600 in Mercer Island, with an average of $543,060 across the list.”
Rounding out the Top 10 list of best commuter communities, ranked in descending order, sixth through 10th, are the following: Kenmore, Bellevue, Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds and Mercer Island.
A prior report by real estate blog Commercial Café based on U.S. Census data found that Seattle two-way commute times have increased seven minutes the past 10 years, to an average of 56.6 minutes per day. That adds an extra 31.2 hours per year in traffic. The reason? The city’s workforce has increased 26 percent the past 10 years. Seattle’s population has grown 24 percent, to more than 755,000 residents. The metro area counts 3.87 million people, the 15th-largest in the United States.
The traffic increase is the third-highest in the country since 2008, behind only San Jose ― where commuters now spend 62.6 minutes in traffic every day, or an extra 47.7 percent hours in traffic ― and San Francisco, where residents spent 67.6 hours in traffic daily, an extra 39 hours per year.