For progressive types worldwide, there are certain hubs where things are going on that go against the norm. Examples include marijuana legalization in places like Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. There are more relaxed laws in many parts of the country than have been instituted in the past 45 years and it is an exciting trend to a new age of conscious people.
After 1970, something happened in north American culture, which was not for the betterment of its people. Society started to look for ways to stay on top rather than be the leaders in a new and exciting age. But today, with the proliferation of information and younger generations finding out the truth about things for themselves, progressive cities are starting to really take off.
In fact, they are taking off so quickly, it's becoming expensive to stay there. Cities across north America that are hubs for conscious and thought-provoking perspectives are becoming more expensive than ever. Even though it is a positive trend for the people who live there, it can be a hindrance to outsiders looking in.
North American Cities on the Rise
San Francisco, California - When it comes to north American cities on the rise in terms of progressive values, there are few places like San Francisco. Not only is it the hotbed of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) movement, but many others as well. There are many silicon valley execs and thinkers, such as Tim Ferriss, who are exploring the use of psychedelics to improve our lives.
Unfortunately, that has come with a rise in costs that is associated with relative wealth from tech startups and founders. All this money is causing astronomical prices, such as a tiny 2 bedroom beachfront cottage that just sold for $1.3 million. These days it is nearly impossible for an ordinary person to buy a piece of good property or live in San Francisco.
Austin, Texas - Not often considered a bastion of progressive values, Texas has one shining star among a sea of conservatism. Austin is home to thousands of university students and most of the current residents are transplants from other regions of the country. The city has become a great incubator for a smaller tech scene, but is also the place of eclectic food and is considered the "live music capital of the world".
While the prices are nowhere near San Franciso, it is still getting relatively expensive to live in Austin compared to other parts of the state. As an Austin native, I'm partial to the live music and food scene of Austin, Texas!
Vancouver, British Columbia - This Canadian city on the west coast is another incredibly diverse and progressive city growing at a similar (if not faster) rate as Seattle, Washington. While there are many reasons to move to Vancouver, among the top is the food and relatively small population.
Like other cities on this list, Vancouver is experiencing incredible growth. Prices for homes in Vancouver went up by 25% in some months and up to 80% over four years. An average house in Vancouver now costs $705,000, which means most of the people are either renting or they are being driven into surrounding areas.
Seattle, Washington - On the northwest corner of the United States, a ever growing city continues to garner a reputation for being progressive and welcoming, while expensive at the same time. After the legalization of marijuana in Washington state, there are droves of people moving into the city. Although rain can cast a shadow on the city for the better part of the year, when it is nice, it is gorgeous.
The food and live music are particularly important for the success of the city, but some regions are increasing in price quickly. The region of King County went up 13.6% in a single year, which puts many home buyers at an extreme disadvantage.
A Rock and a Hard Place
For people who desire more progressive cities, the news is both welcome and disheartening at the same time. Seeing more people desiring to live in these cities means that a more progressive movement is sweeping through the United States and Canada, but it also means that it is hard to access these movements.
The demand to live in these hubs for culture, arts, and open minded-ness will continue to rise and with it so will real estate. However, so long as there is space available to rent, there will be people willing to lose a whole paycheck just to live in great cities.