Summary: Are you thinking of buying a home in Washington State sometime soon? Are Seattle and Everett on your shortlist? Let’s compare the two markets to see which one would make a better fit for you.
This article compares the real estate markets in Seattle and Everett, Washington from a home buyer’s perspective. As of August 2019, homes are still a lot more affordable in Everett.
With its bustling job market and plentiful attractions, Seattle remains a top spot for home buyers in the Pacific Northwest. But the city has become increasingly pricey over the last few years, with a median home value that’s now above $700,000.
Related: Seattle home prices rose 177%
There are alternatives, though. While home values have risen all across the metro area, some cities offer relative bargains. Take nearby Everett, Washington. The city’s median home value is just over half that of Seattle’s.
Quick Facts: Everett and Seattle, Washington
- Everett is the largest city by population within Snohomish C0unty, and it’s the seventh largest in the state of Washington. When last measured, back in 2016, the city had a population of around 109,000 people. Top employers include Boeing, Naval Station Everett, and the state government.
- Seattle is by far the largest city in Washington, in terms of population. It’s also the seat of King County. More than 700,000 residents call it home, according to the latest Census Bureau data. Major employers in the city include Amazon, Starbucks and Weyerhaeuser.
The Cost of Buying a Home
From a cost perspective, there are dramatic differences between the real estate markets in Everett and Seattle, Washington. Home buyers considering a purchase should know that the median home value in Seattle was roughly $300,000 higher than the median in nearby Everett, as of August 2019.
- Seattle: Data reported by Zillow earlier this month showed that the median price for a house in Seattle dipped to $714,100 in August 2019. That was a drop of about $27,000 since the same time last year.
- Everett: Home buyers can clearly get more for their money in Everett, Washington. According to the real estate information company Zillow, the median home value in Everett was $381,500 as of August 2019. That followed a gain of 3.9% over the last year or so.
Granted, price isn’t the only factor to consider when buying a home in Seattle or Everett in 2019 and 2020. But it’s a major consideration, especially given the dramatic cost gap between these two cities.
What these two cities have in common is that prices have risen sharply over the last couple of years. But while home prices in Everett continue to increase, Seattle’s prices have dropped and are expected to continue to decline into 2020. And while Seattle currently has the higher house prices by far, the recent year-over-year gains have shown that King County prices have actually declined, while those in Snohomish County increased modestly.
More specifically, home prices in King County decreased 2.8% year over year, while prices in Snohomish County inched up 0.7% over the same time period.
Is 2019 or 2020 a Good Time to Buy?
The bottom line to all of this is that home buyers can find more affordable properties in Everett, when compared to the much pricier Seattle real estate market. But both of these markets have constrained inventory, though it does seem that Seattle’s inventory is loosening up. There currently aren’t enough homes listed for sale to meet the demand from buyers. (This is true for both cities)
So, is it a good time to buy in Everett or Seattle? Should you make a purchase in 2019, or wait until 2020?
While there are many factors that go into this kind of decision, cost and resale potential top the list. Costs in Seattle are already high, though things have simmered down somewhat. And costs in Everett, though much cheaper than Seattle, are on the uprise. So buyers in the Seattle metro area who postpone their purchases until later in 2019 (or next year) could encounter higher housing costs.