Summary: Home prices in Seattle rose by around 87% from 2009 to 2019. That was one of the highest gains among the major metro areas in the U.S., for that 10-year time period. Where will prices go from 2020 and on?
Seattle has long been a hot housing market, with home prices more than double many other parts of the state of Washington and the country as a whole. Over the past two decades, prices have skyrocketed, making prices extremely high for buyers but giving homeowners plenty of equity by riding this wave of appreciation.
Seattle-Area Home Values Rose 177% in 20 Years
We hear a lot about home-price changes from year to year. But what about the long term? Sometimes, it’s interesting to see how much home values rise during a 10- or even 20-year period.
Among other things, this allows us to calculate the average appreciation rates without them being overly influenced by short-term spikes or dips. We can also compare one city to another, to determine where prices have risen the most over time.
Zillow recently took the long view by showing how home prices have changed in Seattle and 34 other major metropolitan areas across the U.S., during a 10-year period. Specifically, they calculated the change in the median home value for each metro between 2009 and 2019.
Based on this analysis, a home purchased in Seattle for $200,000 back in 2009 would be worth around $374,000 in today’s market. That means it would have appreciated by $174,000 during the 10 years from 2009 to 2019.
That’s a hypothetical scenario, but it’s based on real data. House values in the Seattle area actually have risen at that pace.
When this article was published, in January 2020, the median home price in the city of Seattle was around $729,000. In the broader metro area (which includes Tacoma, Bellevue and other cities), the median was around $489,400 as of January.
Incomes Rose at a Slower Pace
The median household income in the Seattle metro area rose by 15% during the 10-year period mentioned above. This means that home values in the area have risen almost six times as much as incomes.
Seattle is not unique in that regard. Zillow’s figures for the nation as a whole show a similar trend, with house-price appreciation outpacing income growth. Nationwide, the median home value rose by 38% during the 10 years from 2009 to 2019. By comparison, the median household income in the country rose by 26% during that same period.
In Seattle, the gap between income and home-price growth is more pronounced than in many other U.S. cities. That’s partly because of the double-digit annual increases in home values that occurred during the middle part of this decade.
For many years, home-price growth in Seattle was roughly on par with the nation as a whole. But an ongoing housing shortage, coupled with strong demand from buyers, sent home values in the Seattle area skyrocketing in recent years. Finally, however, price growth is starting to slow down.
Where Prices Rose the Most
Among the metropolitan areas across the US, Denver, CO had the largest increase in property prices. From 2009 to 2019, the median home value in that city rose by a whopping 95%. Prices in other cities, also rose substantially.
Price Increases Will Pick Up the Pace
While prices in Seattle have skyrocketed over the past few years, 2019 was a particularly slow one. Prices actually dipped throughout the year. From the start to the end of 2019, prices decreased by 3.9%. However, prices are expected to pick up slightly, albeit at a slow pace. That said, it is not expected that Seattle’s home prices will decline the same way they did in 2019.
Having said that, home prices in Seattle are still some of the highest in the state of Washington. There are plenty of other markets nearby that offer much lower real estate prices, such as Tacoma and Federal Way. In fact, not only do these markets offer prices that are less than half of Seattle’s prices, their markets are also very hot lately. This could make them an ideal place to buy a home at a lower price while riding the wave of rapid appreciation.
Looking to Apply For a Mortgage in Seattle?
Sammamish Mortgage is a family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington which serves the entire state, as well as the Pacific Northwest region overall. This includes Washington State, Colorado, Idaho, and Oregon. We offer our clients many different mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification requirements to suit the needs of each borrower. Feel free to contact us today if you have questions about applying for a mortgage.