New residents pour in: Pierce, Snohomish counties see nation’s biggest jump in movers

Of the more than 3,100 counties across the U.S., none saw a bigger net increase than Pierce and Snohomish in movers from other counties. Is this a reflection of people being priced out of King County?

A lot of Seattle-area renters surely can relate to the pressure that Casey and Deborah Roberts were feeling.

The couple nervously watched from the sidelines as home prices in the area hit record high after record high.

“We weren’t planning on moving,” Casey said, “but we thought we better bite the bullet now and buy while we can still afford it.”

The couple would have loved to stay in the Redmond area, where they’d been renting. But not with the median home price on the wrong side of $700,000. So they crossed the county line from King to Snohomish, where they closed on a four-bedroom split level in December for about $200,000 less than they would have paid in Redmond.

“We decided to go for Bothell, where the homes are a bit less expensive,” Casey said.

It seems a whole lot of folks are thinking along the same lines lately. At least that’s what some striking new data from the Census Bureau suggest.

Of the more than 3,100 counties in the nation, none saw a bigger jump in the net number of movers from other counties last year than Pierce and Snohomish. They ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, for net increase in people moving in domestically.

Is it folks fleeing higher home prices and rents in King County — and, in doing so, perhaps taking on a much longer commute?

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The new data are tantalizing — while they show a surprising influx into Pierce and Snohomish, they don’t reveal where in the U.S. all these movers are coming from. So at this point, it’s a matter of speculation on how much of the Pierce and Snohomish gain is King’s loss.

The Census Bureau calls this data “net domestic migration” — it’s the number of people…

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