Google finds hiring easier for Seattle because Bay Area housing costs are so high

Rain, what rain?

Clearly the prospect of having a couple of nickels to rub together after paying the rent or mortgage outweighs months of soggy weather and sodden hoodies — techies are reportedly flocking to Google jobs in Seattle far faster than in the Bay Area.

“When we go to hire somebody from the East Coast, say, it is often a lot easier to pitch them on re-locating to Seattle than it is to relocate to the Bay Area because they have all heard the economic stories of prices of housing and all those sorts of things,” Google’s product-management director Greg DeMichillie told attendees June 7 at a Seattle convention, according to a new report.

“So it turns out this is a great place to hire; we can fill headcount faster in Seattle than we can in the Bay Area.”

And DeMichillie revealed at the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit that his company had just broken ground at a Seattle site for a building that will be “basically Google Cloud.”

The location of the facility appears strategic, according to the report by tech website GeekWire.

“The site is on the edge of Amazon’s global headquarters, and of course Amazon is the dominant player in the cloud market,” the site reported. “Being just down the street gives Google a shot to poach Amazon Web Services talent as it seeks to catch up with Amazon, as well as Microsoft, in the competitive cloud market.”

For Google, Seattle’s attraction as a lower-cost city may not last. Although rents there averaged around $2,000 in June 2016 compared to $3,400 in San Jose and San Francisco, the prices were increasing in Seattle faster than in any major city in the country, the Seattle Times reported in July 2016.

House prices in the rainy city to the north are following a similar trajectory, with the median price of a single-family home in March hitting $700,000 for the first time, up 7 percent from the month before, according to the Seattle Times.

A Google-induced influx of tech workers to Seattle can be expected to drive rent and home prices higher.

Meanwhile in the Bay Area, the median single-family home price surged in April to an all-time high of $800,000, the Mercury News reported in May.

However, the cost of a 1-bedroom apartment in San Jose slipped 3.34 percent from May 1 to June 1, reducing the median rent to $2,401, SiliconBeat reported June 7. That was the fifth-largest drop in a major U.S. city, and San Francisco saw a 2 percent decrease for a 1-bedroom over the month, to $3,284.

San Jose may see a substantial increase in demand for housing if talks with Google over a 20,000-job mega-campus bear fruit.

“Google and the city are discussing a potential mixed-used development that could include more than 6 million square feet of office and research-and-development space, potentially making it the company’s largest collection of tech offices,” the Mercury News reported June 6.


Photo: The Seattle skyline (Wikimedia Commons/Chris Vlachos)


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  • scooooot

    I guess the prediction of the foreign home buyers came true.. They moved from BC to Seattle and now are causing an increase.. Better cash in on this and go buy up some nice houses…. Flip them for a profit of 500,000 to 1 million in a couple days maybe even a couple weeks