This blog post is part of an ongoing series for home buyers across the Seattle metro area. In previous reports, we examined current real estate conditions in places like Lynnwood, Bellevue and Kirkland. Today, we will take a look at the housing market in nearby Federal Way, Washington.
The following report will be helpful for anyone who is planning to buy a home in Federal Way in 2018 or 2019. It contains the latest data and trends for this real estate market.
At a glance: Federal Way is a city of about 95,000 located at the southern end of the Puget Sound. It is situated just north of Tacoma, and about 23 miles south of Seattle. As of September 2018, the median home value in Federal Way was around $367,000, making it much more affordable than Seattle.
The Federal Way Housing Market in 2018 – 2019
Home prices in Federal Way, Washington have risen steadily over the last few years, and at a faster pace than most other cities in the U.S. That’s something the city has in common with other housing markets in the Seattle metropolitan area. But it’s also a more affordable real estate market when compared to Seattle itself.
As of August 2018, the median home value in Federal Way was around $367,000. The median value in Seattle during that same month was closer to $750,000. Recent forecasts suggest that prices will keep rising gradually through 2018 and into 2019.
That’s the first thing to know about buying a home in Federal Way in 2018 or 2019. While the average house price within the local real estate market is higher the national average, it’s still fairly low by Seattle metro area standards. So it could be an affordable alternative for those who want to live in the area but cannot afford Seattle’s much higher home prices.
But there are a couple of areas where these two markets are nearly identical. In both Federal Way and Seattle, tight inventory conditions are fueling competition among home buyers — and leading to quick sales.
Low Supply, Fast Home Sales
According to the latest real estate market and MLS reports, Federal Way had about a 1.5-month supply of homes for sale as of July 2018. That’s much lower than the five to six months that is considered to be a balanced market. So the local real estate scene still favors sellers over buyers, from a supply-and-demand perspective.
This is another important factor for those planning to buy a home in Federal Way in 2018 or 2019. The local housing market is currently experiencing a low supply of homes for sale. In fact, inventory conditions there are nearly identical to those in Seattle (which is often singled out as being one of the tightest real estate markets in the country). And this comes at a time when housing demand is still strong.
As you might imagine, the lopsided supply-and-demand situation within the Federal Way real estate market is resulting in fast home sales. Houses and condos listed for sale in the area typically go under contract within the first week.
During the summer of 2018, homes listed for sale in Federal Way spent a median of about 10 days on market. That was significantly lower the national median during the same time period, which was closer to 35 days. So we’re talking about a fast-moving housing market where homes tend to sell quickly, especially when they’re located in popular neighborhoods.