Current Real Estate Trends in Seattle, WA?

April 13, 2022
Last updated:
April 13, 2022
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The current real estate trends in Seattle, WA, provide a kind of microcosm of what’s happening against the country, magnified by Seattle’s rarified status as one of the most in-demand cities in the country to live in. Home prices are still rising, following a 2-year stratospheric increase that has doubled prices in some areas year over year.

Cripplingly low inventory, increased demand for larger homes, and a shortage of labor and materials for new builds also fuel the bubble. Will these trends continue, or is a burst in Seattle’s future?

It wasn’t that long ago that people were wondering if they should put off buying a home due to uncertainties over the market. Now, sooner is better than later when it comes to Seattle – real estate trends keep following the same upward trajectory where price is concerned, and while mortgage rates are still low, they are starting to rise.

Prospective homebuyers need to be prepared when entering Seattle’s real estate market. Having the right lender and a loan as far along the approval process as possible can be critical to beating out competition with cash offers on the table in most scenarios.

2022 Real Estate Trends for the Seattle Housing Market

As of February 10, 2022, there were 1952 active home listings and 402 new homes for sale in Seattle, WA. The median price for homes was $899,000, and the average time on market was barely 18 days.

Real estate trends in Seattle, WA, continue to follow the same path as for the past 24 months, with low inventory and high demand driving prices up. However, it’s interesting to note that while the median price per house is still rising, the median price per square foot is staying more level, due to the average square footage of the homes being sold increasing.

This isn’t surprising, as many homeowners are looking for larger homes to accommodate office space for one or more adults who are still choosing remote work over a return to an office. Lot sizes may continue to shrink as they have for the past two decades, but home footprints are increasing.

The Seattle, WA, housing market continues to benefit sellers, with an average of 20 offers on each home, most over asking price, and several cash offers typically part of the mix in high-demand areas.

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Where the Seattle Average Home Price Will be 2022

While the average home price is just under $900,000, many homes are going for substantially more thanks to bidding wars that are inflating the prices. Many houses are receiving offers anywhere from a few hundred thousand up to $1 million over asking price.

While some areas still have desirable properties in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, homebuyers need to anticipate the need to be competitive and sweeten their offers when at all possible. This can be achieved through a willingness to waive certain contingencies.

Another way to help seal a deal is by getting a loan underwritten before the offer is made. Moving underwriting to the top of the home loan process is one of the perks offered as part of Sammamish Mortgage’s Diamond Homebuyer Program, which also provides a fast path to closing and support from the lender to make homebuyers more attractive to sellers and agents.

Choice Seattle Suburbs Are Seeing Price Skyrocket

The most in-demand Seattle suburbs are seeing prices blow through the roof. Bellevue is leading the way with a 100% year over year increase in home prices, topping out as of February 2022 at a hefty $1.5 million as long as you’re east of the 405. On the west side, be prepared to shell out $2.25 million to get a decent home.

North of Bellevue, Kirkland and Bridle Trails homes are priced around $1.5 million again, while south of 90, houses in Newport, Newcastle and Factoria are tipping the scale at just under $1.42 million. Lake Washington-adjacent Juanita and Woodinville are hovering just over the $1 million mark.

Renton Islands and Renton Benson Hill are slightly more affordable, at $831,000 and $685,000 respectively; home prices in both neighborhoods went up around 45% year over year. Enumclaw comes in a little lower, at around $641,000. Have a lead on a good deal? Find out how much your monthly payment might be with our mortgage calculator.

Real Estate Trends In Seattle, WA: The Housing Crunch

In 2021, real estate broke long-standing records all over the nation. As work from home trends continue to stay strong, buyers are motivated to pay top dollar for more square footage and in-demand neighborhoods see dozens of buyers vying for every listing.

The volatile stock market combined with historically low inventory and a general shortage of building materials plus inflated material and labor costs means the housing market in Seattle continues to be in a severe crunch.

Rental prices are soaring in response, and those who no longer have to face a commute are looking at the suburbs with a friendlier eye, meaning the phenomenon of 50% to 100% increases year over year in home prices is spreading past the epicenter.

A seller’s market

Thanks to the overwhelming demand, and rollover of buyers looking from homes month to month with inventory failing to keep pace, sellers can kick back and let market demand force bidding war after bidding war. This is setting expectations for buyers seeking to find the right property in the red-hot Seattle real estate market.

People forced to pause their move due to lack of inventory in late 2021 are still looking for a home. As 2022 progresses and new home builds are slow to recover, the existing houses on the market are driving prices even higher.

The housing crunch

The Seattle region as a result is facing unprecedented escalation of home prices, mortgages, and costs of living. Building up more dense housing, which many view as the only long-term solution to Seattle’s housing woes, is lagging and failure to change zoning restrictions in many areas leaves little hope the situation will resolve in the near future.

The market is particularly short on low income and middle income housing, making it harder for those in blue collar, retail, and hospitality jobs serving the greater Seattle area to afford to live within comfortable driving distance of on-site jobs.

Lack of dense housing

More dense housing could help make space for the “missing middle” of Seattle’s residents, and make housing more affordable and equitable. As it stands, low wage earners and disadvantaged members of the community continue to get priced out of the market, and will likely leave the metro area and their employment, causing instability.

However, on the high end of the wage-earning spectrum, things are looking up. Many larger companies are raising maximum salaries for mid level tech and corporate employees, in attempts to attract and retain in-demand talent. This translates to more buyers able to keep up with the bidding wars in play and buy those high-priced homes in King County and elsewhere.

Since housing supply is currently so constrained, higher wages and fewer choices keep fueling price hikes. While some wonder if the bottom will eventually fall out of Seattle’s housing market, odds are it won’t happen in 2022.

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Why Choose Sammamish Mortgage?

At Sammamish, we believe educating homeowners is the best path forward to financial success. That’s why we put so much effort into our blog articles, to help create a resource for homeowners and homebuyers.

Sammamish Mortgage has been in business since 1992, and has assisted many home buyers in the Pacific Northwest. If you are looking for mortgage financing in Washington State, we can help. Sammamish Mortgage offers mortgage programs in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Contact us if you have any mortgage-related questions or concerns. If you are ready to move forward, you can view rates, obtain a customized instant rate quote, or apply instantly directly from our website.

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