On this page, you’ll learn about the latest Seattle real estate market forecast, trends, and statistics to help you make a sound investment decision. The housing market in Seattle always looks nearly as expensive as an overheated market. After a significant decline in the Seattle home prices in the past year, the prices have taken a good jump in the latest quarter of 2020. The shortage of homes for sale in the Seattle housing market is causing prices to rise.
And so for all those reasons and more, rising property values are a positive development for homeowners and sellers in the Seattle area. Right from January, we saw very high demand, low inventory, and it looked like that we’d see some appreciation this year. The Seattle real estate appreciation rate in the last quarter was around 0.95%, which amounts to an annual appreciation rate of 3.86%. The median sale price was $725,000, up by 3.79% year-over-year.
Right now the latest news is that Seattle’s housing market remains in a shortage with just one month of supply of properties on the market. There are far more buyers than there are available homes. Before the virus hit the region, it was quite evident that if the inventory crunches further, the affordability will become a bigger issue in the Seattle housing market 2020, especially with homes in the lower tier. The supply of properties on the market in King County was drastically decreasing, down 40.7% by the end of February, from a year ago. This is an advantage to sellers right since there aren’t as many homes to sell compared to normal trends.
Seattle Housing Market Data from Northwest MLS shows that inventory remained tight in the month of March as well.
- 1261 new listings (residential plus condos) were added on the market during the month of March.
- The total no. of homes for sale specifically equaled 1,391.
- That was a decline of roughly 30% from the same month a year ago.
- Total no. of pending sales were 926, drop of 16.2% from the same month a year ago.
- Total no. of properties sold in the Seattle real estate market equaled 835, a year-over-year increase of 17.61%.
The ongoing nationwide crisis has affected the real estate market of Seattle as well but not as much as we expected. Even with the market virtually shutting down, there isn’t a great drop in the open house attendance or sales activity. For buyers, the historic drop in the mortgage rates is a significant advantage to move forward and scoop up some properties form the market. If you are buying the interest rates have never been lower and this is typically the time of year when more listings start coming on the market.
Therefore, the question is whether buyers will put their search on hold until the crisis has abated or decide to make a move. Historically low-interest rates should help the Seattle housing market sustain strong momentum during the spring-summer period. It remains to be seen just how much this pandemic will affect Seattle’s housing market in the coming months.
For e.g; despite slow down, a north King County property in the $600,000 price range that was on the market for a week with an offer review on Tuesday had eight offers at $100,000 over the asking price.
Is Seattle still a good market for real estate investors and homeowners? Well, to answer that question we should take a look at its economy and jobs. Seattle’s real estate market has always been strong, especially with tech companies bringing so many people into the city, and construction hasn’t been able to keep up with that. The Seattle-area job market continues to add new qualified buyers coupled with declining inventories & falling interest rates which leads to multiple offers and bidding wars among buyers.
This is the single most driving factor of Seattle home prices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Seattle-area employment jumped 3.4% between December 2018 and December 2019, the second-largest increase in the nation after the Dallas region. Seattle is projected to see over 2.2% economic growth and 2.6% job growth.
We all know that Seattle is an expensive real estate market that gives many investors pause. However, there are many compelling reasons to invest in Seattle. Seattle is home to over 700,000 people. This makes the Seattle housing market the largest in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest. However, the region’s housing market is actually bigger than that – it extends to nearly four million people in the Seattle metropolitan area.
Looking back historically, Seattle has a track record of being one of the best long term real estate investments in the nation. Is Seattle still going to be one of the hottest real estate markets for investors in 2020? Let’s find out more about it. Please note that there are many variables that can potentially impact the value of a home in Seattle (or any other market) and some of these variables are impossible to predict in advance.
Seattle Housing Market Trends & News 2020
We shall now discuss some of the most recent real estate trends & news in the Seattle area and compare it with the past couple of years. We shall mainly discuss median home prices, inventory, economy, growth, and neighborhoods, which will help you understand the way the local real estate market moves in this region.
Seattle is a fairly walkable city in King County of Washington. Seattle housing market has been one of the hottest in the country for years. But for the first time since 2014, homes in that area are selling below their listing price. And that slow down could be noteworthy for homeowners across the country.
Let’s first take a look at some of the last year’s real estate data for Seattle. By late 2019, Seattle home prices had begun once again to rise. Prices rose faster in October 2019 than they have for a year. In October, Seattle house prices rose 3.3% from a year ago, to $775,000 — the largest percentage increase in 12 months. According to a December 2019 report by The Seattle Times, home prices in the area had posted year-over-year gains for three months in a row.
By January 2020, the Seattle housing market had posted the highest growth in the entire region. Before coronavirus hit, the market was really in good shape. Seattle’s housing market was hotter than almost anywhere else in the country. The Seattle home price was up by 6% in February 2020, from a year ago. Also, there was an increase of 1.3% as compared to January 2020. It remains to be seen just how much the current crisis will affect the housing market.
Data from Northwest Multiple Listing Service showed that inventory remained tight in the month of March as well. At the end of March, there were 2813 active listings in King County. That was a 34.01% drop from the year-ago when active listings were 4263. Brokers reported 2,450 closed sales for a YOY gain of more than 6.99%. The pending sales (mutually accepted offers) were 3,031, a year-over-year drop of 17.12%.
A total of 10,291 new listings were added (in all the 23 counties reported by NWMLS) during the month of March. Total no. of active listings at the end of March was 9,418. That was a drop of 21.63% from the same month a year ago. Compared to February, March’s inventory increased by 2,505 listings, still felling short of matching demand in the entire region.
Seattle home prices are predicted to remain flat or fall by 1 to 2 percent during this pandemic. But it’s a positive sign for homebuyers, especially for those to want to invest in Seattle real estate. If they invest now, they could aim for a greater ROI, once the market bounces back in the last quarter of 2020 (hoping the crisis would be over by then).
Note: Currently, we are unable to predict what might be the exact long term impact of the ongoing crisis on the Seattle real estate market. So we shall keep that factor aside as things are changing on an hourly basis. It is simply too soon to predict anything.
On Movoto.com, Seattle’s current home resale inventory number is 1297, which has decreased by 14% from a year ago. The median list price per square foot in Seattle is $512. In March 2020 it was $521. Distressed properties such as foreclosures and short sales remained the same as a percentage of the total market in April 2020.
|Seattle Housing Market Statistics||Current||1 Month Ago||1 Year Ago|
|Median List Price||$721,000||$725,000||$720,000|
|Median Days on Movoto||47||33+42%||25+88%|
|Median Home Size||1,475||1,470||1,500-1%|
Market Snapshot Courtesy of Movoto.com
Seattle Real Estate Market Forecast 2020 – 2021
What are the Seattle real estate market predictions for 2020? Let us look at the price trends recorded by Zillow over the past few years. For the past 6 to 7 years an extreme drop in inventory led to an astronomical rise in Seattle home prices, as buyers competed over a dwindling number of properties on the market.
Since 2015, the median home price in Seattle has appreciated by 56.3% from $494,000 to $772,000. As you can see in the graph given below, the home values increased consistently, starting in late 2012 and continuing through 2018. After that, it marked the beginning of a sustained downturn in prices which lasted for over a year.
In the past year, Seattle’s real estate prices have gone up by 2.2%. The latest Seattle real estate market forecast is that home prices will drop by 1.7% in the next twelve months. According to many industry experts, you shouldn’t expect any sizable or significant gains based on the current situation stemming from the viral outbreak.
The latest data from Zillow, an online real estate database company, shows that the current median home value in Seattle is $767,906. Seattle is currently a buyer’s real estate market – which refers to a situation in which supply exceeds demand, giving purchasers an advantage over sellers in price negotiations.
Here is the Seattle, WA real estate price appreciation graph by Zillow. It shows us the current home price appreciation forecast of -1.7% until March 2021.
Here is a short and crisp Seattle housing market forecast for the 3 years ending with the 3rd Quarter of 2021. The accuracy of this forecast for Seattle is 85% and it is predicting a positive trend. LittleBigHomes.com estimates that the probability of rising home prices in Seattle is 85% during this period. If this price forecast is correct, the Seattle home values will be higher in the 3rd Quarter of 2021 than they were in the 3rd Quarter of 2018.
Check this page each quarter for updates to the Seattle Housing Market Forecast.
Seattle Real Estate Market: Seattle, WA Homes For Sale
Seattle has a mixture of owner-occupied and renter-occupied housing. According to Neighborhoodscout.com, a real estate data provider, three and four-bedroom large apartment complexes are the most common housing units in Seattle’s real estate market. Other types of housing that are prevalent in the market include single-family detached homes, duplexes, rowhouses, and homes converted to apartments.
At the national level, the single-family rental homes have grown up to 30% within the last three years. Almost all the housing demand in the US in recent years has been filled by single-family rental units. With 2020 being, theoretically, in the middle of a boom, there are still 4 years for residential construction to surge. Most likely, a housing shortage will remain in 2020, keeping home prices high.
Currently, there are 508 homes for sale in Seattle on Zillow. Additionally, there are 331 homes for rent. Under potential listings, there are about 1 Foreclosed and 63 Pre-Foreclosure homes. These are the delinquent properties that may be coming to the market soon but are not yet found on a multiple listing service (MLS).
- The median list price per square foot in Seattle is $517, which is higher than the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro average of $285.
- The median price of homes for sale is $689,900.
- The median price of homes that were sold is $705,600 (Feb 2020).
- The median rent price in Seattle is $2,600, which is higher than the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro median of $2,295.
There are currently 1842 homes for sale and 1193 homes for rent in Seattle on Realtor.com, a real estate listings website. The newly listed homes are 202. According to their statistics, in March 2020, the Seattle housing market was a seller’s market, which means there were roughly more buyers than there were active homes for sale.
Ideally, a buyer would prefer a sale to asking price ratio that’s closer to 90%. The sellers in Seattle have managed to hold good leverage in these negotiations in the past month. On average, they could sell homes for 100% of the asking price. A seller would always prefer scenarios that can yield a ratio of 100% or higher.
In March 2020, the median list price of homes in Seattle was $710,000, trending up 1.4% year-over-year. The median listing price per square foot was $489, and the median sale price was $710,500.
Seattle Real Estate Market: Foreclosure Statistics 2020
Here are some foreclosure statistics of the Seattle real estate market. As per the foreclosure data by Zillow, in Seattle 0.1 homes are foreclosed (per 10,000). This is lower than the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro value of 0.8 and also lower than the national value of 1.2. The percent of delinquent mortgages in Seattle is 0.2%, which is lower than the national value of 1.1%. The percent of Seattle homeowners underwater on their mortgage is 3.9%, which is lower than Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro at 4.2%.
There are currently 146 properties in Seattle, WA that are in some stage of foreclosure (default, auction or bank-owned) while the number of homes listed for sale on RealtyTrac is 215. In March 2020, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in Seattle, WA was 17% lower than the previous month and 26% lower than the same time last year.
|Potential Foreclosures in Seattle||2587 (RealtyTrac)|
|Homes for Sale in Seattle||2908|
|Median List Price||$205,000 (2% rise vs Feb 2019)|
In Seattle, the zip code with the highest foreclosure rate is 98178, where 1 in every 2527 housing units is foreclosed. 98146 zip code has the lowest foreclosure rate, where 1 in every 5380 housing units becomes delinquent.
Seattle Real Estate Market: Is It A Good Place For Investment?
Should you consider Seattle real estate investment? Now that you know where Seattle is, you probably want to know why we’re recommending it to real estate investors. Investing in real estate is touted as a great way to become wealthy. Many real estate investors have asked themselves if buying a property in Seattle is a good investment? You need to drill deeper into local trends if you want to know what the market holds for the year ahead.
Although this article alone is not a comprehensive source to make a final investment decision for Seattle, we have collected ten evidence-based positive things for those who are keen to invest in the Seattle real estate in 2020. As housing inventory in Seattle remains tight, it would make things very challenging for buyers in 2020.
Let’s take a look at some other factors that could make 2020 a good year to invest or buy a home in the Seattle real estate market.
1. Seattle Housing Demand is Strong
What does the state of Silicon Valley real estate have to do with the Seattle real estate market? Quite a bit, actually. Seattle has long been a second-tier technology hub, bolstered by companies like Boeing, Amazon, F5, and Real Networks. Seattle’s strong tech ecosystem has led to a number of startups choosing to start here, but more importantly, many tech giants are setting up “outposts” here. They’re moving jobs to Seattle so they can afford to expand or simply afford to remain in business.
The influx of new high paying jobs plus relocating employees to Seattle is driving demand for homes in Seattle. Over the past 10 years, Amazon has grown more than tenfold in the city of Seattle, from about 4,000 employees in its hometown to over 45,000. During the same time, the median home price in the city has shot up from $420,000 to $720,000 (according to the Northwest MLS) and home prices in the metro area as a whole have gone up 47 percent.
Between 2008 and 2018, over 535,000 homes have sold in the entire Seattle metro area. For comparison, that’s 41 percent more than in the similarly-sized San Diego metro area. Much of this growth in the local housing market can likely be attributed to growth at Amazon.
2. Seattle Has Friendly Business Climate
Businesses aren’t just relocated to Seattle to tap into a growing, skilled labor market. Others are simply relocating because they cannot stay in business in California. California has the highest income taxes in the United States. Incredibly intrusive and endlessly proliferating regulation only makes it harder for businesses to operate. While many businesses are moving to Texas, Seattle is closer both in culture and geography. That they can find cheaper talent and real estate while gaining more freedom to operate their businesses only adds to the bottom line.
3. Seattle’s Tech Landscape Is Rapidly Evolving
Seattle was the fastest-growing major city in the country in 2015. It has ranked among the top 5 fastest growing cities since 2010, hitting a 3.1% annual growth in 2016. Many young people move here because it is seen as an excellent place to live and get started, and that’s aside from the strong job market. The exodus from California to Seattle is only part of the equation, since Seattle attracts people from all over the country, and in truth, around the world.
Seattle’s tech landscape and real estate market are rapidly evolving. Google just upped the size of its new Seattle campus. Facebook has been on a hiring spree in the Seattle area, particularly for its virtual reality arm Oculus, which is growing fast in Microsoft’s backyard of Redmond. GeekWire reported on new HQ leases for top Seattle startups Rover and Outreach. Other companies continue to grow and that will pick up any slack. Tech has blown up Seattle. For the past 5 years, we have seen 50% price growth in this market which has priced out many middle-class buyers.
4. Seattle Real Estate Prices Are Rising
The Seattle real estate market shares many of the constraints that drove up real estate prices in San Francisco. You can’t realistically build on water. It is hard to build in the mountains. You can build up, but that takes time and is expensive. And all the while, everyone wants to live close to the city center and jobs. This helps keep property values in the Seattle housing market high.
5. Seattle Rental Property Market Is Strong
Environmentalist protections for large swaths of land around Seattle limit how far the city could spread out. This prevents the value of homes in the Seattle housing market from coming down as people relocate to distant suburbs, trading home values for commute time. Building up is increasingly an option, but you can’t do that here the way they’ve done it in Miami.
The financial district allows buildings to be as tall as FAA regulations allow, but that’s pretty much it. Nor does that designation matter much, since the area is mostly built-up. The rest of Seattle is zoned low, preventing demand from being met by building condo towers. That keeps Seattle rental property rates high.
6. Seattle Is Friendly To Foreign Real Estate Buyers
The United States is pretty friendly to foreign real estate buyers. Canada has limited the ability of foreign buyers to buy up properties in Canada, a major reason why Vancouver became one of the most overvalued real estate markets in the world. This has led many Chinese investors to buy up Seattle real estate instead, making the city the third destination for foreign real estate investors.
Some hope to send kids to study in the U.S., while a few actually have children here. Others buy the properties as a way to park money overseas in a relatively low tax jurisdiction with likely returns if they choose to sell later. Since foreign buyers don’t always rent the properties out, this drives up prices in the Seattle real estate market while indirectly constricting supply.
7. The Seattle Housing Market Is Landlord Friendly
Many investors are reluctant to buy properties in liberal markets because they’re afraid they won’t be able to protect their investment. However, there are a number of points in favor of Seattle, especially in comparison to Oregon and California. Washington State outlawed rent control, so you can raise rents to keep up with inflation and demand.
If a tenant breaks the lease without the landlord’s consent, the tenant is liable for rent through the end of the lease. Landlords have significant freedom in their screening questions. If a tenant has a month to month lease, the landlord can only end it for one of 18 approved reasons, but they can end it with a written notice three weeks before the end of the month.
8. The Massive Seattle Rental Market
Around a third of people in the U.S. rent. However, in Seattle, the rate is over half. This is partially due to the cost of homes in the Seattle housing market. Another contributing factor is that Millennials are less willing to be tied down to a home and thus prefer to rent, while Seattle is one of the top cities for attracting these young adults. They’re probably going to continue to rent instead of buying homes.
9. Seattle Has Large Student Market
While we cannot say this just about the Seattle housing market, the fact remains that large cities with a strong network of educational institutions always create an opportunity for those who want to own rental properties. Students don’t buy houses – they rent. A college town with a single university sees property values rise and fall relative to the popularity of the university. Seattle’s nearly two dozen four-year colleges provide a literally diverse market for landlords catering to students, while the strong local job market means you can rent the property out to locals if the students move out.
10. Seattle Properties Have Excellent Return on Investment
Seattle has repeatedly hit lists as being among the top cities for real estate sellers to get the highest return on their investment. Property values have gone up consistently for years. Rental rates are high and continue to rise, guaranteeing ROI for those who buy and hold properties. We’ve already addressed the fact that you can raise rents as necessary to match the market. This means you will certainly be able to profit from the large rental market in Seattle whether you buy and hold or buy and flip.
Seattle Real Estate Market: How To Find Seattle Investment Properties?
Are you looking for an investment property in the Seattle real estate market? Maybe you have done a bit of real estate investing in Seattle, WA but want to take things further and make it into more than a hobby on the side. It’s only wise to think about how you can and should be investing your money. In any property investment, cash flow is gold. Seattle has long been second to Silicon Valley, but its strong economy, diverse population, and better regulatory climate are bringing refugees from California and migrants from around the country and world to live here.
Regardless of the area’s weather, the Seattle housing market’s outlook can only be described as sunny. Good cash flow from Seattle investment property means the investment is, needless to say, profitable. A bad cash flow, on the other hand, means you won’t have money on hand to repay your debt. Therefore, finding the best investment property in Seattle in a growing neighborhood would be key to your success.
If you invest wisely in Seattle real estate, you could secure your future. If you are a beginner in the business of cash flow real estate investing, it very important to read good books on real estate. The less expensive the Seattle investment property is, the lower your ongoing expenses will be. When looking for the best real estate investments in Seattle, you should focus on neighborhoods with relatively high population density and employment growth. Both of them translate into high demand for housing.
Some of the popular neighborhoods in Seattle where you can find investment properties are Capitol Hill, Maple Leaf, Central District, Phinney Ridge, Ballard, Columbia City, Belltown, Beacon Hill, Green Lake, West Seattle, Wallingford, Madison Park, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Northgate.
The asking price of single-family homes for sale in Seattle (on Realtor.com) starts from $250,000 for a 1-bedroom house and can go up to $13.2M for a luxury 6-bedroom house located in Laurelhurst neighborhood. This is a very expensive neighborhood of Seattle, with a median price range of $1.34M. There are currently 173 new construction houses available for sale in the Seattle’s housing market. You can get a 2-bedroom new construction single-family house for around $508,000 located in zip code 98106.
Magnolia has a median listing price of $1.2M, making it the most expensive neighborhood of Seattle. Lower Queen Anne is the most affordable neighborhood, with a median listing price of $549.7K. Another popular neighborhood of Seattle for real estate investment is Queen Anne where the median home price is around $875,000. Broadway is a popular neighborhood for homebuyers who can afford to buy a home in the median price range of $649,000.
Here is a snapshot that shows the median home values in some of the popular neighborhoods of Seattle.
If housing supply meets housing demand, real estate investors should not miss the opportunity since entry prices of homes remain affordable. You can also collaborate and learn from savvy real estate investors who have retired early on in their lives by investing in some of the best real estate markets like Seattle. You should also join real estate investment clubs in Seattle and try to make connections with the fellow investors.
NORADA REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS has extensive experience investing in turnkey real estate and cash-flow properties. We strive to set the standard for our industry and inspire others by raising the bar on providing exceptional real estate investment opportunities in many other growth markets in the United States. We can help you succeed by minimizing risk and maximizing the profitability of your investment property in Seattle.
Consult with one of the investment counselors who can help build you a custom portfolio of Seattle turnkey investment properties in some of the best neighborhoods. All you have to do is fill up this form and schedule a consultation at your convenience. We’re standing by to help you take the guesswork out of real estate investing. By researching and structuring complete Seattle turnkey real estate investments, we help you succeed by minimizing risk and maximizing profitability.
Buying or selling real estate, for a majority of investors, is one of the most important decisions they will make. Choosing a real estate professional/counselor continues to be a vital part of this process. They are well-informed about critical factors that affect your specific market areas, such as changes in market conditions, market forecasts, consumer attitudes, best locations, timing, and interest rates.
Seattle & Alternative Real Estate Investment Opportunities
Apart from the Seattle real estate market, you can also invest in another hot market in Spokane, WA. Spokane is a relatively cheap real estate market on the West Coast. It is already seeing increased demand and property valuations, while it remains a safe place to invest in real estate. Skip Seattle and Silicon Valley and invest in the future growth of Spokane. One reason why Spokane long lagged behind Seattle was its higher unemployment rate.
Seattle has a roughly 3% unemployment rate, significantly lower than the 5% unemployment rate seen in Spokane. Spokane’s economy, though, is seeing a surge of higher-wage jobs. Out of the tens of thousands of new jobs created since 2010, the majority of them pay more than the average county wage – which is in line with the national average. The promise of better pay will lure many people to Spokane to live, fueling demand for the Spokane housing market.
Another hot market like Seattle is the famous Miami real estate market. The Miami real estate market offers diverse opportunities to real estate investors, allowing you to choose which rental markets you want to cater to and profit from. However, that isn’t reason enough to consider investing in the Miami real estate market. According to a report published by Zillow in Dec 2017, Miami was the country’s fourth most valuable housing market.
Trailing only Los Angeles (total value of $2.7 trillion), New York (2.6 trillion), and Washington (996.7 trillion), the total value of Miami’s housing market is an estimated 864.2 billion, which represents a solid 4.7 percent increase year over year. Miami real estate market predictions show us that the prices will rise 3.6% within the next year.
Similarly, the Charlotte housing market forecast is that it is going to be a hot investment destination for new real estate investors. Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina. The city proper is home to more than 800,000 people. The metropolitan area is even larger – home to roughly two and a half million people. It is one of the country’s fastest-growing metro areas, and it was the second fastest-growing city in the southeastern United States. Only Jacksonville, Florida was growing faster between 2004 and 2014.
One advantage of living in a big city like Charlotte is the constant demand for homes. Buying a home in Charlotte is a better investment, depending upon several factors. There are so many major companies and professional sporting events that people will always be interested in residing here. Therefore, interested investors aren’t likely to allow the listing prices to get too low before they swoop in and take advantage.
*Remember, caveat emptor still applies when buying a property anywhere. The information contained in this article was pulled from third party sites mentioned under references. Although the information is believed to be reliable, Norada Real Estate Investments makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees, either express or implied, as to whether the information presented is accurate, reliable, or current. All information presented should be independently verified through the references given below. As a general policy, the Norada Real Estate Investments makes no claims or assertions about the future housing market conditions across the US.
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