Prediction: Seattle the Second-Hottest Housing Market in 2017

According to a recent real estate prediction from Zillow, Seattle, Washington could be one of the hottest housing markets in the country in 2017. Nashville was ranked as the #1 hottest market, with Seattle, Provo, Orlando and Salt Lake City rounding out the top five.

Seattle One of the Hottest Housing Markets for 2017

On January 6, 2017, the real estate information company Zillow published its predictions for the 10 hottest housing markets of 2017. Seattle, a housing market that has experienced double-digit price growth during 2016, is predicted to be one of the hottest real estate markets during 2017 — second only to Nashville, Tennessee.

To determine which local housing markets would be “hot” over the next 12 months, the economic research team at Zillow looked for cities with (a) rapidly rising house values, (b) high employment rates, and (c) strong income growth. In other words, they picked cities with strong economic fundamentals that can support additional and significant price growth in 2017.

Based on this measurement, Seattle, Washington is expected to be the second-hottest housing market in 2017.

The table below shows the company’s top ten markets for 2017:

Hottest housing markets

This isn’t surprising, given all of the headlines Seattle’s real estate market has spawned over the last couple of years. In the past, we’ve written about the rapidly rising home values in our metro area, and how they would probably outpace the national average in 2017 as they did last year. Anyone who follows housing trends would expect to find Seattle on a list of the hottest housing markets for 2017.

According to a recent press release from Zillow:

“Although Nashville is ranked number one, Zillow’s list is largely made up of Western cities. Portland reported the strongest home value growth in 2016 among the 100 largest U.S. metros, with home values up almost 15 percent over the past year. Housing experts predict that Portland, Seattle and Denver will continue to outperform the average national home value growth in 2017.”

Zillow’s economists expect home prices in Seattle to rise by 5.7% during 2017, which is one of the strongest forecasts of any city in the nation. Nationally, the company expects home values to appreciate by 3% over the next year.

Granted, this would mark a significant slowdown from 2016, during which house values in the city rose by double digits. But that’s a good thing. Seattle home prices have been rising much faster than wages for some time now, and that can lead to affordability problems over time (something the city’s already grappling with).

So, from an economic and housing standpoint, it’s good to see a more modest prediction for 2017. It’s a step toward normalcy.

A Sense of Urgency Among Home Buyers

The prediction that Seattle will be one of the hottest housing markets in 2017 only adds to the urgency already felt by local home buyers. If home prices in the city rise as much as they are expected to this year, buyers could feel the squeeze. Those who postpone their purchases until later in 2017 will likely pay more for a home.

Add to this the recent rise in mortgage rates that occurred at the end of 2016, and you could easily make a strong case for buying a house sooner rather than later.