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Most Affordable Housing Markets in Seattle Metro Area

Sammamish Mortgage
February 27, 2017
Last updated:
September 8, 2021
Most Affordable Housing Markets in Seattle Metro Area

Home prices have increased rapidly in Seattle over the recent past, and 2020 was no exception. That said, the prices for homes in Seattle are in the $800k’s, stretching the budgets of local home buyers.

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

In This Article

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 rising rapidly from 2020 to 2021 in Seattle, the housing market has stretched the budgets of local home buyers. Even though home prices in Seattle dipped from mid-2018 to mid-2019, they have climbed back up over the past year.

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 2021

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 $812,108, which is an increase of 9.8% 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.

The chief economist for the real estate data company Zillow recently prepared a report for Seattle NBC affiliate King 5 News. It listed five of the most affordable cities and housing markets in the Seattle area, based on housing prices and median household income.

In the city of Seattle, people need an average income of $114,217 to buy a median-priced home in the city.

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

  1. Tacoma: $397,268
  2. Marysville: $449,527
  3. Federal Way: $459,320
  4. Auburn: $464,880
  5. Kent: $492,578

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 $397,268, 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 $449,527 and $492,578.

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 $1,075,770. The median income in that city is $105,402.

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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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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