Buying a Home in Washington Vs. Oregon in 2023: A Cost Comparison

January 7, 2019
Last updated:
December 6, 2022
Post cover image
In This Article

When you’re on the prowl for a new home, it’s not just the structure itself that you should be looking at, but also the location itself. The question is, should you buy in Washington State or Oregon? This article will help you make that decision.

With its natural beauty and strong job markets, the Pacific Northwest attracts residents from all over the country. Those looking to buy a new home have plenty of amazing locations to choose from in the region, including Washington and Oregon. 

But many find themselves asking the same question: Should I buy a home in Oregon or Washington? Here’s an updated look at housing costs when buying a home in Washington State versus Oregon in 2023.

Buying a Home in Washington vs. Oregon

At the statewide level, home values in Washington and Oregon are not too far off from each other. Let’s take a closer looking at how buying a Washington home compares to buying a home in Oregon.

Buying a Home in Washington

According to the real estate information company Zillow, the median home value for Washington State was $610,121 in December 2022. That was an increase of 11% from the same month a year before. 

Buyers who buy a home in Washington will be able to take advantage of an increase in home equity along with this rate of appreciation. Buying sooner rather than later will also help buyers avoid paying more next year.

WA State Mortgage Rates

Buying a Home in Oregon

According to the same source, the median home price in Oregon rose to $512,667 in December 2023. That was 7.7% higher than in the same month a year earlier. 

Again, considering the fact that home prices are expected to rise in the next few months, it might make sense to buy a home in Oregon sooner rather than later.

Oregon Mortgage Rates

Income Tax & Sales Tax Benefits

Income taxes are another consideration when deciding whether you should buy a home in Washington or Oregon. And there’s a clear difference here. Washington is one of only seven states in the country that do not charge income tax. Oregon, on the other hand, does charge its resident’s income tax. Oregon, however, does not charge a sales tax on purchased goods, while Washington has a sales tax as high as 10%.

While these taxes are not directly related to housing costs, they do affect how much house you can actually afford to buy.

So, when you look at the states as a whole, buying a home in Washington versus Oregon is comparable from a cost perspective. However, if you zoom in on the most populous cities within each state — Seattle and Portland — the cost gap widens considerably.

Seattle Versus Portland Home Prices: Big Difference

Seattle is by far the most populous city in Washington. Portland holds that distinction within Oregon. When you compare the cost of buying a home in Seattle versus Portland, there is a much clearer distinction. So, how do the real estate markets in Seattle and Portland compare to each other? Let’s take a look:

Buying a Home in Seattle

According to Zillow, the median value for a home in Seattle is $927,525. Prices have increased 7.1% over the past 12 months in Seattle. That means buying a Seattle home is a lot more expensive today than it was last year.

Zillow expects prices to increase at a healthy pace over the next year, though perhaps not as quickly. If you wait until next year to buy a home in Seattle, you could find yourself spending a lot more than you would if you jumped in the market today.

So, how does buying a house in Seattle compare with buying in Portland?

Buying a Home in Portland

Like Seattle, home prices in Portland have also increased over the past year. More specifically, the average price in Portland rose 3.2% over the past 12 months and currently stands at $567,842. As you can see, prices in Portland are much lower than those of Seattle, and price increases have not been as strong, either. That means it’s cheaper to buy a home in Portland compared to buying in Seattle.

But buying a Portland home will cost you more if you wait until next year to buy as opposed to buying today, so save money by making a move now.

More affordable homes can be found outside of these major cities. In a previous blog post, we looked at some of the more affordable real estate markets surrounding Seattle. Once you move outside of the city and into the surrounding areas, house values drop considerably.

Continued Low Interest Rates Make Buying More Affordable

Not only are the prices of homes important when it comes to affordability, but so are interest rates. A lower interest rate can make it possible to buy a more expensive home that may be impossible during times of higher mortgage rates.

Today, mortgage rates are higher than they were the same time last year. Year-over-year, the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased by 3.38% and now sit at 6.49%, as of the first week of December 2022.

While rates may be higher today than they were last year, they’re expected to rise even more in 2023. Considering this, now may be a good time to lock in at a lower rate to help make your mortgage more affordable for you to fit your budget.

If you’re buying real estate to use as a rental property, it’s good business to buy a home in either state. People love sales tax and income tax bennies, and there’s no denying that Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington both have beautiful views. Vancouver is another in demand metropolitan area in the region, and there are plenty of neighborhoods with terrific schools, public transportation, and other amenities.

Get an Instant Mortgage Rate Quote Today

Need a Mortgage in Washington or Oregon?

If buying a home in Washington State or Oregon is on your agenda for this year, you’ll need a mortgage to help finance this big purchase, and Sammamish Mortgage can help. Based in Bellevue, Washington, we offer mortgage financing to home buyers in both Washington and Oregon, as well as the greater Pacific Northwest. We’ve been serving borrowers since 1992 and are able to offer highly competitive rates on a variety of mortgage programs — including FHA, VA, and conventional loans. If you have questions or are ready to apply for a mortgage, contact us today!

Other Blogs You May Like
Idaho Mortgage Lender: 15 Tips For Finding The Right Lender
March 27, 2024
11 min read
Idaho Mortgage Lender: 15 Tips For Finding The Right Lender
If you are ready to buy a home in Idaho, you need a home loan that fits your specific needs as a...
An Update for Those Buying a Home in Denver in 2024
March 12, 2024
4 min read
An Update for Those Buying a Home in Denver in 2024
Many Denver home buyers are looking at 2024 as the year to make a home purchase. To help, we have...
Show 245 more posts
from this category

Connect with a Mortgage Advisor Today!

Whether you’re buying a home or ready to refinance, our professionals can help.

Compare Mortgage Rates in Your Area Instantly

No Obligation and transparency 24/7. Instantly compare live rates and costs from our network of lenders across the country. Real-time accurate rates and closing costs for a variety of loan programs custom to your specific situation.

Subscribe to our newsletter