Is Bellevue Cheaper or More Expensive Than Seattle For Home Buyers?

March 14, 2024
Last updated:
March 14, 2024
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Seattle-area home buyers often want to know how different cities and communities compare with each other, in terms of home prices. Today we address one of those common questions:

Is Bellevue cheaper or more expensive than Seattle for home buyers?

Generally speaking, smaller suburban cities that surround larger urban centers tend to offer lower home prices. That’s why price-conscious home buyers often look to “the burbs” to find a better deal on a house.

But it doesn’t always work that way, and Bellevue is a prime example.

Bellevue home prices are actually more expensive than the city of Seattle. Bellevue has a lot of features that home buyers seek, such as excellent schools and safe neighborhoods. So it commands a premium price.

Bellevue Is Actually More Expensive Than Seattle

How much does a home cost in Bellevue? More specifically, how do Bellevue vs Seattle home prices differ?

As of early 2024, the city of Bellevue, Washington is quite a bit more expensive than the city of Seattle. Here are some recent market stats to illustrate that point, using data provided by Zillow in February of 2024:

  • Seattle median home value: $815,858
  • Bellevue median home value: $1,300,824

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data confirms this as well. When this article was published, the median sale prices for these two cities were $775,000 in Seattle, and $1,099,500 in Bellevue. This is a different metric from the median value cited above, hence the different numbers.

No matter what source you look at, you’ll find that Bellevue is more expensive than Seattle when measured by median or average home prices.

Bellevue is also a much smaller real estate market, in terms of total land area, population, and the total number of homes for sale. When this article was published, had nearly 1,900 listings for the city of Seattle, compared to 254 in nearby Bellevue.

Beyond the Urban / Suburban Divide

It’s easy to compare Bellevue vs Seattle real estate markets in terms of price point, affordability, and similar metrics.

But in other ways, they are like apples and oranges. There’s a clear urban-versus-suburban distinction to be made here, with Bellevue being the more suburban of the two cities. But it goes beyond that.

The key difference is that Bellevue offers a more polished and planned feel with a focus on business and modern amenities. Seattle has a grittier, more eclectic urban atmosphere with a broader range of neighborhoods and a stronger emphasis on arts and alternative culture.

Because of these differences, people who have spent some time in both cities usually have no problem deciding which one is right for them. It’s all about finding the right fit for your lifestyle.

Bellevue, Washington at a Glance

Are you thinking about buying a home in Bellevue, WA in the near future? Here’s a quick primer to bring you up to speed.

Bellevue is a major city located in King County, Washington. It’s part of the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA metropolitan statistical area. In French, the city’s name means “beautiful view,” and it truly lives up to that name.

The city of Bellevue is located to the east of Seattle, just across Lake Washington, in what’s known as the “Eastside.” With a population of over 150,000, it ranks as the fifth-largest city in the state of Washington (after Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, and Vancouver).


Originally settled in the 1860s, Bellevue was primarily known for its farms and strawberry fields. After the construction of the first Lake Washington floating bridge in 1940, the area experienced suburban growth. In 1953, it was officially incorporated as a city.

Since the 1980s, Bellevue has undergone substantial development, transforming into a significant economic hub. It has also become more diverse over the years, from a demographic standpoint.


Bellevue’s economy is largely fueled by the technology industry. Global companies like Microsoft, Amazon, T-Mobile US, PACCAR, Meta, Salesforce, and many others maintain headquarters or major offices in and around the city.

This concentration of tech employment has contributed to Bellevue’s high median income levels and its correspondingly high cost of living.

Housing Market

The Bellevue housing market is highly competitive. As mentioned above, the median home value is higher than in Seattle itself. Housing demand is influenced by the high-paying tech sector presence and Bellevue’s excellent quality of life.

The city offers a mix of property types, ranging from waterfront homes to upscale condos. But home buyers in Bellevue often have to compete fiercely with one another, due to limited inventory.

Schools and Education

The Bellevue School District is highly regarded and serves as a major draw for families relocating to the area. All four of the city’s high schools have appeared on “Best High School” rankings from publishers such as Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. In addition, Bellevue College offers access to higher education options.

Amenities and Lifestyle

  • Downtown Bellevue: A vibrant urban core featuring upscale shopping at Bellevue Square, The Bravern, and Lincoln Square. Offers a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment options.
  • Parks and Recreation: Bellevue boasts over 100 parks and recreation areas. These include the expansive waterfront Bellevue Downtown Park, green spaces like Mercer Slough Nature Park, and access to regional hiking and biking trails.
  • Arts and Culture: The Bellevue Arts Museum features contemporary exhibitions. Community events like the annual Strawberry Festival and the Bellevue Arts Fair celebrate local arts and culture.

So, is Bellevue cheaper or more expensive than Seattle for home buyers? Overall, Bellevue offers its residents a tech-focused community with excellent schools, abundant amenities, and close proximity to nature. But you’ll pay a premium for all of those great features, with a median home price higher than many other Seattle-area cities.

Before you start the house hunting process, be sure to partner with a mortgage specialist and get pre-approved for a mortgage in Bellevue WA. Get in touch with Sammamish Mortgage to get the process started!

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