I’d never heard of the term, but here’s how UW professor Diana Pearce explains it: “If you can imagine a graph where wages are going up very, very slightly, and expenses are going up larger, that’s like the alligator jaws, getting wider and wider and wider…”
Yesterday SeattlePI reported that our region had the highest wage growth in the nation over the past year. Yay us! Except that growth rate is only 4.1%. Not enough to keep up with rising house prices and rents. Or utility price hikes. Or property tax increases.
I was surprised to find that 18 of Mount Baker’s 62 existing home sales this year involved sellers who’ve owned their houses for fewer than 5 years. The situation is similar in Madrona and Montlake. My guess is, many of these folks are ambitious professionals who’ve found next steps on their career ladders in other cities… where they may be less likely to be eaten by alligators?