With Seattle’s rapid growth and rising real estate prices, people are moving further and further away from the city. According to an article by Komo News, “The average Seattle-area commuter spent 31 minutes getting to work last year, compared with 28.6 minutes four years earlier - a statistically significant increase...”
Over the same four-year period, the number of commuters who drove alone to work decreased from 69.7 percent to 67.6 percent. This decrease is likely due to public transportation improvements.
Major improvements and additions in the future such as the Seattle-Bellevue light rail, or the Redmond-Seattle foot ferry, will cut down on commute times but increase the breadth of the “Seattle Sprawl”.
For a long time, Kitsap County was shielded from this sprawl since the ferry crossing deterred daily commuters. However, in November 2018, the Kitsap Fast Ferry was launched, cutting the Kingston-Seattle commute to 39 minutes. Before it’s launch, the only options for getting to downtown Seattle was the Kingston-Edmonds ferry or the Bainbridge Island-Seattle ferry. Both options required driving or a transit ride.
This new route has and will affect the growth of Kitsap County. In 2018, roughly a year after the fast ferry route was announced, the county’s median home price jumped 17%. As we move into 2019, this new route’s impact on the local real estate market will be a figure to watch.