Summary: Thinking of buying in Portland or Seattle some time in 2020? If so, you’ll want to know how much you can expect to pay in these markets. This article will dig deeper into housing prices in both cities and forecast where things are throughout the rest of the year.
Home Prices in Seattle vs. Portland: 2020
Many people who are relocating to the Pacific Northwest put Seattle and Portland on their shortlists. There are many factors contributing to the popularity of these two cities — natural beauty, strong economies, and unique character to name but a few.
But there’s a big difference when it comes to home prices in Seattle vs. Portland. (Of course, there are many other differences as well. But we’ll be focusing on housing costs and market conditions for this article.)
Let’s start with a current look at home values in these two cities:
Home Prices in Seattle, Washington: $752,100
House prices in the Seattle area have risen steadily and sharply over the past few years. This is true for much of Washington State, but the gains have been most noticeable in the Seattle metro area. That said, prices have cooled since mid-2018, with prices having dropped in 2019, but are slowly rebounding. Right now, home prices in Seattle are 0.7% lower than the same time last year but are expected to rise 3.9% over the next year, according to Zillow.
Home Prices in Portland, Oregon: $455,700
Home prices in Portland differ from Seattle in a couple of important ways. First, and most obvious, is the fact that they’re lower. The median house value for the city of Portland, Oregon was $455,700 as of March 2020. Yet what they share in common is that both markets are rather cool.
Both Seattle and Portland home prices have dipped slightly over the past year, but are expected to rise modestly over the next year. Recent forecasts predict that home prices in Portland will decrease by around 2.4% over the next year (through March 2021), which is lower than the national forecast.
Real Estate Market Conditions
During 2016 and 2017, the real estate markets in both Seattle and Portland experienced severe supply shortages. There just weren’t enough homes for sale to satisfy the demand from buyers. During 2018, however, we saw an uptick in housing inventory across the Pacific Northwest, which may be part of the reason why prices slipped.
But the inventory situation in these two cities remains extremely tight. over the past few months. So there are more homes for sale today than in previous years. That’s good news for home buyers.
- Portland supply: As of early 2020 (the most recent data available at “press time”), the Portland real estate market had about a 3-month supply of homes for sale.
- Seattle supply: Housing conditions are tighter in Seattle. The real estate market there also had about a 1-month supply of homes for sale in February 2020. That’s a pretty constrained market, which is why prices are expected to increase over the next few months.
Both of these real estate markets remain tight, from an inventory standpoint. A balanced market is one that is characterized by a 5- or 6-month supply in homes available for sale. As you can see by the numbers above, Seattle and Portland both have far lower numbers than that. So home buyers in Seattle and Portland could face some stiff competition this year.
The bottom line: There’s quite a difference between home prices in Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. As of 2020, the median house value for Seattle was nearly $300,000 higher than the median for Portland. Both markets are expected to continue appreciating throughout 2020.
Have Questions About Mortgages?
If you are planning to buy a home in Seattle or Portland, you’ll need a home loan to fund this big purchase, and Sammamish Mortgage would love to help. We are a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We offer mortgage programs in the entire state, as well as the broader Pacific Northwest region, including Oregon, Colorado, and Idaho. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions.