Data from Zillow shows that rents have increased more in areas of Seattle where tech workers live. But the author of the Zillow study ignores his own evidence to make contrary claims.
In a study entitled South Lake Union’s Tech Boom a Small Part of Seattle’s Rising Rents, Zillow analyst Aaron Terrazas proves that South Lake Union’s tech boom is a huge part of Seattle’s rising rents. In areas where tech workers are concentrated, rents increased 37% from 2011 to 2015. In areas of low concentration, rents increased 32%. The author calls the relationship between residency and rent “statistically significant.”
You’d think this study would be called: “Demand For Housing By Tech Workers Drives Rents Higher,” or “Influx of Highly-Paid Newcomers Makes Seattle Unaffordable For All But the Rich,” but no.
The author is forced to admit:
These data show that rents have increased more in the King County neighborhoods where South Lake Union Tech Corridor workers tend to live. Rising demand has contributed to rising prices…
…and this is what his evidence shows. But because this conclusion is ideologically unacceptable, he goes on to assert that “new supply has struggled to keep up” and that “there are many other factors driving Seattle area rents as well.” He does not present, nor does he claim to have, any evidence to support these bald assertions.
What’s striking about the urbanists’ arguments is how intellectually dishonest they are and how rooted in an ideology divorced from the facts. They must ignore reality and smear their political opponents because their theories don’t hold up under scrutiny. We have seen the results of this kind of policy-making, in the Federal government since Ronald Reagan. Let’s hope Seattle comes to its senses before urbanist ideology destroys the city.