Vancouver prices have been driven entirely by Chinese investment. From '93-'99 it was Hong Kong wealth setting up anchor ownership so that they could be Canadian when the Hong Kong handover went pear-shaped. From '99-now it's been Chinese oligarchs sheltering their money overseas. There was some spillover to Seattle (which could be seen in the inverse relationship between Vancouver depreciation and Seattle appreciation when Vancouver passed their 15% tax but the Chinese priced it in quickly enough and Vancouver continued to outstrip Seattle.
San Francisco prices are driven by geography, tech inequality and rampant NIMBYism. For much the same reason aspiring actors with degrees from Juliard live six to a flop on Fairfax, taking your lumps in tech means putting up with Bay Area pricing for at least long enough to get hired away by somewhere else that values your tour of duty.
Both cities, it should be noted, are principal tourist destinations. On the other hand, Seattle is routinely listed near the bottom of tourist cities in the United States. This tends to blunt foreign interest and, as a consequence, foreign investment.
I already know people who commute into Seattle from Everett, North Bend, and Enumclaw. And our density and traffic is nowhere near what the Bay Area was like when I left in 1998, and an hour-and-a-half commute (one way) was seen as desirable.
California culture celebrates long fucking commutes, though. It's one of the most insufferable aspects of the entire state - "I'm more of a citizen because I commute further than you therefore I want it more." California roads are designed to drive really fucking slowly on in really boring weather; they're parking lots (except the winding mountain roads, which are theme parks). Seattle roads are designed to spend the minimum amount of maintenance on, and generally get less maintenance than that. As a consequence they're narrow, treacherous and require your constant attention. You can smoke a bowl and trudge from Ojai to Pomona in three or four hours and go "whoa we made it let's overpay for coffee" but fuckin' Everett to West Seattle is some Oregon Trail shit and everyone knows it because you'd best be paying attention the entire way.
A drive time map of urban California is a lie during the day and a marvel at night; at 3am you can get from LAX to the Palisades in 20 minutes and at 5pm that's gonna be two hours. A drive time map of Seattle is mostly just discouraging. If you can get to the freeway quickly, you can make a great distance on the freeway, except during rush hour. It's a subjectively different experience. We have friends that we visited more when we were in PDR and they were in La Brea than now that we're in Lynnwood and they're in Mukilteo. it was an hour and a half on Sundays to get there but you know what? It's an hour and a half to get anywhere on a Sunday. Now? Fuckin' 20 minutes in the car is enough to get you downtown on a Sunday and why would you want to go downtown we'll meet you halfway.
There's a lot more to growth than "is it as shitty as Palo Alto yet."