Most Affordable Housing Markets in Seattle Metro Area

Published:
February 27, 2017
Last updated:
September 2, 2022
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Home prices have increased rapidly in Seattle over the recent past, and 2022 has been no exception. That said, the prices for homes in Seattle are well over 960,000, stretching the budgets of local home buyers. 

So, what are the most affordable vs most expensive housing markets in the Seattle metro area?

Seattle is easily one of the most expensive real estate markets in Washington State, and in the country as a whole. It’s long been this way, which has made buying a home in the largest city in Washington State very difficult for many buyers who find themselves getting priced out of the market.

With home prices continuing to rise in Seattle, the housing market has stretched the budgets of local home buyers. But there are pockets of relative affordability in the area. 

Rather than living directly in Seattle, there are plenty of “bedroom” communities nearby Seattle that offer a quick commute but with housing prices that are far more affordable than the city center of Seattle. 

In fact, a recent report from the chief economist at Zillow highlighted the five most affordable cities in the Seattle metropolitan area, relative to the median income.

Most Affordable Cities in the Seattle Area 2022

Seattle, Washington is without doubt one of the more expensive real estate markets in the country right now, as already mentioned. It has been for a while. High demand and limited inventory have forced home buyers to compete fiercely, especially in the more sought-after areas.

As a result of these trends, the median home price in Seattle is now $960,925, which is an increase of 11.4% over the past 12 months.

But there are more affordable options for people who want to buy a home in the Seattle metro area, but not necessarily within the city itself.

In the city of Seattle, people need an average income of $121,402 to buy a median-priced home in the city, according to HSH.com, but with home prices still rising dramatically and interest rates doubled over the past 6 months, that figure is likely outdated.

Here are 5 more affordable cities in the metro area, along with the median home prices in each.

  1. Tacoma: $514,336
  2. Marysville: $624,782 
  3. Federal Way: $611,314 
  4. Auburn: $624,642 
  5. Kent: $665,486

Some of these housing prices are just over half of what homes cost in the city of Seattle.

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That goes to show how much more affordable housing becomes when you drive a little further out.

With a median home price of around $514,336, Tacoma, for example, is an affordable option for those who want to live in the Seattle area. The other four cities above came in somewhere between $611,314 and $665,486.

The Most Expensive Housing Markets

On the other end of the spectrum, the least affordable city in the Seattle area was Bellevue, Washington. People there spend about 50% of their income to cover their mortgage and housing-related expenses. In Bellevue, the median home price is $1,574,090. The median income in that city is $129,497.

Other cities that were more expensive relative to income included: Seattle (of course), Everett, Renton, and Kirkland.

“Seattle is certainly a very hot housing market right now,” said Dr. Svenja Gudell, Chief Economist for Zillow. “We’re seeing a lot of demand, a lot of newcomers to the area and as that continues, we’ll see even more of these outlying communities start to heat up a bit and get more expensive.”

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In Need of a Mortgage?

Are you looking to buy a home in Seattle and need a mortgage to make that happen? If so, we can help. Sammamish Mortgage has been helping buyers all across the Pacific Northwest since 1992 obtain a home loan. We provide a wide variety of mortgage programs with flexible qualification requirements. Contact us today with any questions you may have about mortgages.

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