The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Washington For 2022


We used science and data to determine which cities in Washington that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Washington.

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Washington does this very well. Families love the Evergreen State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Washington that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Washington for 2022.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Washington? That would be Lynnwood.
the 2016-2020 American Community Survey for the 120 places in Washington with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Washington for 2022:

  1. Lynnwood
  2. Bellingham
  3. Renton
  4. Seattle
  5. Pullman
  6. Mukilteo
  7. Burien
  8. Shoreline
  9. Mountlake Terrace
  10. Bellevue

What's the most expensive place to live in Washington? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Lynnwood is the most expensive place to live in Washington.

So hopefully Ephrata (the cheapest place to live in Washington) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Washington and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Washington For 2022

1. Lynnwood

Lynnwood, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 38,538
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.0x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.6x (10th most expensive)
More on Lynnwood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Lynnwood comes in at $62,926 and the median home value is $443,100 for 2022.

2. Bellingham

Bellingham, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 90,821
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.2x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.6x (22nd most expensive)
More on Bellingham: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Bellingham comes in at $56,198 and the median home value is $405,700 for 2022.

3. Renton

Renton, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 101,871
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.5x (24th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.5x (19th most expensive)
More on Renton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Renton comes in at $79,824 and the median home value is $442,600 for 2022.

4. Seattle

Seattle, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 741,251
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.3x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.1x (62nd most expensive)
More on Seattle: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Seattle comes in at $97,185 and the median home value is $713,600 for 2022.

5. Pullman

Pullman, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 33,974
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.0x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 37.5x (most expensive)
More on Pullman: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Pullman comes in at $32,073 and the median home value is $287,700 for 2022.

6. Mukilteo

Mukilteo, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 21,414
Rank Last Year: 28 (Up 22)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.1x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.0x (54th most expensive)
More on Mukilteo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Mukilteo comes in at $102,903 and the median home value is $624,900 for 2022.

7. Burien

Burien, WA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 51,588
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.9x (18th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.2x (36th most expensive)
More on Burien: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Burien comes in at $71,233 and the median home value is $419,500 for 2022.

8. Shoreline

Shoreline, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 56,835
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.4x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.0x (56th most expensive)
More on Shoreline: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Shoreline comes in at $91,524 and the median home value is $582,000 for 2022.

9. Mountlake Terrace

Mountlake Terrace, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 21,328
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.3x (33rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.6x (27th most expensive)
More on Mountlake Terrace: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Mountlake Terrace comes in at $80,738 and the median home value is $424,700 for 2022.

10. Bellevue

Bellevue, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 146,145
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.9x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.5x (86th most expensive)
More on Bellevue: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Bellevue comes in at $129,497 and the median home value is $887,700 for 2022.

Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Evergreen State For 2022

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Washington
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2016-2020 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Washington to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 120 places in Washington that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Washington according to the data is Lynnwood. You can download the data here.

Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Washington For 2022

Well there you have it, the places in Washington that have the highest cost of living, with Lynnwood ranking as the most expensive city in the Evergreen State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Washington according to the data:

  1. Ephrata
  2. Connell
  3. Quincy

For more Washington reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Washington

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Lynnwood 14.0 38,538 7.0x 46.6x
2 Bellingham 19.67 90,821 7.2x 49.6x
3 Renton 23.67 101,871 5.5x 49.5x
4 Seattle 24.33 741,251 7.3x 57.1x
5 Pullman 26.67 33,974 9.0x 37.5x
6 Mukilteo 27.33 21,414 6.1x 56.0x
7 Burien 28.33 51,588 5.9x 52.2x
8 Shoreline 29.0 56,835 6.4x 56.0x
9 Mountlake Terrace 30.0 21,328 5.3x 50.6x
10 Bellevue 31.33 146,145 6.9x 61.5x
11 Des Moines 31.67 31,983 5.4x 50.6x
12 Poulsbo 32.33 10,869 5.3x 51.0x
13 Everett 32.67 110,840 5.5x 50.2x
14 Federal Way 33.0 96,812 5.2x 48.7x
15 Kent 33.67 130,038 5.1x 49.4x
16 Woodinville 34.0 13,038 6.0x 59.4x
17 Gig Harbor 34.0 10,280 6.0x 57.2x
18 Mercer Island 34.67 25,820 9.2x 69.5x
19 Normandy Park 34.67 6,643 6.7x 62.2x
20 Kirkland 35.33 91,146 6.2x 61.6x
21 Issaquah 35.33 38,707 5.6x 58.3x
22 Mill Creek 36.0 20,750 5.6x 57.9x
23 Edmonds 36.33 42,347 6.4x 60.7x
24 Sumner 37.0 10,246 5.1x 47.3x
25 Port Townsend 37.33 9,710 6.6x 55.4x
26 Anacortes 38.0 17,231 6.0x 58.7x
27 Sequim 38.0 7,441 5.9x 41.2x
28 Seatac 38.33 29,102 5.1x 48.5x
29 Redmond 38.67 67,959 5.9x 66.1x
30 Oak Harbor 39.0 23,358 5.2x 45.5x
31 Ellensburg 40.33 20,679 5.4x 41.4x
32 Lakewood 40.67 60,564 5.6x 50.9x
33 Bothell 40.67 46,386 5.5x 59.9x
34 Tukwila 41.33 20,265 5.0x 46.3x
35 Ridgefield 42.33 8,751 4.3x 49.7x
36 Vancouver 42.67 182,792 5.0x 49.4x
37 Bainbridge Island 43.33 24,859 6.2x 78.1x
38 Ocean Shores 43.67 6,196 5.3x 46.8x
39 Olympia 45.67 52,290 5.2x 52.7x
40 Port Orchard 45.67 14,303 5.0x 53.4x
41 Pacific 46.0 7,122 4.7x 45.8x
42 Cheney 46.67 12,455 5.2x 45.7x
43 Lynden 47.33 14,700 5.2x 56.3x
44 Burlington 50.0 9,085 4.9x 46.6x
45 Snohomish 50.67 10,141 5.6x 66.9x
46 Monroe 51.33 19,403 4.5x 55.9x
47 Brier 52.0 6,899 5.0x 62.3x
48 Tacoma 52.0 215,766 4.8x 51.4x
49 Kenmore 54.33 22,969 5.4x 80.5x
50 North Bend 55.0 7,161 5.3x 83.8x
51 Arlington 55.67 19,947 4.5x 54.5x
52 Newcastle 56.0 12,078 5.0x 82.3x
53 Stanwood 56.0 7,228 5.1x 60.9x
54 Port Angeles 56.0 20,071 4.8x 49.6x
55 Sammamish 56.0 65,265 4.8x 75.8x
56 Puyallup 57.33 41,666 4.6x 56.6x
57 Fife 57.67 10,345 4.3x 52.6x
58 Lacey 58.0 50,827 4.1x 49.1x
59 Lake Stevens 58.0 33,470 4.1x 56.0x
60 University Place 58.33 33,661 5.0x 62.3x
61 Milton 58.67 8,211 4.4x 55.1x
62 Bremerton 58.67 41,258 4.7x 51.1x
63 Lake Forest Park 59.0 13,455 4.9x 79.3x
64 Auburn 59.33 80,914 4.7x 58.2x
65 Dupont 61.0 9,514 3.7x 50.7x
66 Ferndale 61.0 14,591 5.2x 61.2x
67 Marysville 63.0 69,629 4.2x 57.6x
68 Chehalis 63.67 7,607 4.5x 50.2x
69 Maple Valley 64.33 26,739 3.8x 59.3x
70 Sedro-Woolley 64.67 11,919 4.3x 53.0x
71 Steilacoom 65.33 6,366 4.6x 69.4x
72 Shelton 65.33 10,467 4.0x 44.8x
73 Centralia 66.33 17,473 4.0x 44.4x
74 Mount Vernon 66.67 35,502 4.9x 59.8x
75 Selah 67.67 7,957 4.2x 52.7x
76 Snoqualmie 67.67 13,550 4.0x 71.7x
77 Covington 68.33 21,131 3.6x 57.9x
78 Sultan 70.0 5,330 3.8x 52.0x
79 Longview 70.33 37,914 4.4x 54.4x
80 Fircrest 70.67 6,844 4.5x 71.2x
81 Edgewood 71.33 12,010 4.2x 73.8x
82 Orting 72.0 8,267 3.4x 51.8x
83 Wenatchee 72.33 34,249 4.8x 59.9x
84 Walla Walla 73.67 32,951 4.1x 54.7x
85 Blaine 74.33 5,427 4.6x 68.1x
86 Bonney Lake 74.33 21,247 3.7x 60.9x
87 Tumwater 76.67 23,390 4.1x 60.6x
88 Duvall 76.67 7,979 3.3x 68.1x
89 Camas 77.0 24,043 3.9x 95.5x
90 Enumclaw 77.0 12,062 4.2x 65.7x
91 Clarkston 77.33 7,435 3.7x 49.6x
92 East Wenatchee 77.67 14,012 4.6x 63.4x
93 College Place 78.83 9,311 4.2x 56.8x
94 Kelso 79.67 12,237 3.9x 53.5x
95 Spokane Valley 82.33 99,275 4.0x 58.2x
96 Washougal 82.33 15,927 3.9x 70.9x
97 Yelm 82.67 9,262 3.5x 56.9x
98 Yakima 83.33 93,829 3.8x 54.9x
99 Battle Ground 84.67 20,931 3.9x 67.9x
100 Spokane 85.5 219,185 3.9x 58.1x

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.