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Washington’s 2021 Real Estate News

Sammamish Mortgage
August 21, 2019
Last updated:
February 26, 2021
Washington Real Estate News

Real Estate in the West was booming a couple of years ago, but is it still? This article will outline what the housing market in Washington looks like today and where it’s expected to be in the coming months.

In This Article

If you are looking to buy a home in the Evergreen State, or are thinking of taking on an investment property in 2021, we’ve outlined some of the trends for you to consider as you research where you might want to buy, and, if you are looking for a second home or rental property, a few factors that you may want to weigh.

We’ve included top agent insights and statistics about location and home type, in this rundown of Washington real estate news.

Seattle Market is Still Hot

Years ago, Seattle’s tech sector saw the city as one of the United States’ hottest housing markets — but that changed over the past year and a half. From mid-2018 to mid-2019, Seattle’s housing market cooled and prices dipped quite a bit.

This was perhaps a good thing for buyers, as prices were skyrocketing, leaving many homebuyers priced out of the market.

That said, the market in Seattle has been hot for the past few months. Prices are on the rise, and Redfin has characterized Seattle’s real estate market as ‘very competitive’. Considering this, now may be a good time to buy in the Seattle-area.

In January 2021, the median home value in Seattle started to inch up. The typical home value in Seattle is $804,487.

Location, Location, Location

While the Seattle housing market may be the first place that you think of when it comes to the Pacific Northwest, there are other cities worth considering. You may find better returns for your investment if you look elsewhere.

According to Zillow, the median price of a home in Washington State is $463,856 as of January 2021. That’s an increase of 12.5% from the same month last year. And that price appreciation trend is expected to continue throughout the year.

Zillow characterizes the Washington State housing market as “very hot” right now, and many centers across the state are experiencing the same temperature, such as Tacoma, Federal Way, and Kent.

Many buyers who want to be close to the action but don’t want to pay the sky-high prices in Seattle are turning to nearby communities for more affordable housing. This is driving up demand in these cities, and therefore driving up prices, too.

Commute Communities

With King County being the most expensive county with an average price of $708,764, more and more people are heading to nearby centers, as mentioned previously. But in addition to Federal Way and Kent – which are both in King County – people are also flocking to Kitsap and Skagit Counties.

In Kitsap County, the median home price in January 2021 was $443,315, which is 14.8% higher than a year ago. To the north in Skagit County, demand was just as great. In January, the median home price increased to $427,386, a 11.1% jump.

In Pierce County, the median home price in January 2021 climbed to $434,062, representing a 15.2% year-over-year increase. Pierce County’s relatively large supply of affordable homes are becoming more attractive to priced-out buyers from Seattle and King County. However, buyers should be aware that the Tacoma-to-Seattle commute can add two to three hours a day.

Consider Condos

There are many reasons why you might want to consider buying a condo, either as your primary or secondary residence, or as a rental property. And if a condo is what you are after, then you’ll want to examine these trends.

The condo market in Seattle is hot right now, and median condo prices in the city increased 31% over the past year and now sit at $632,500.

If you are looking to buy a condo to rent out as a source of income you may want to research city rules first.  A recent report from the University of Washington found that nearly 40% of Seattle owners who rent out their condos have sold or planned to sell them, because of frustrations about regulations.

Washington State Mortgage Rates Sep, 23, Thu, 2021

Bad News For Renters, Good News For Landlords

Rent across many centers in Washington State is very expensive. For renters, this will obviously be bad news. But landlords can take advantage of high rent prices to provide them with a sound stream of income.

In Seattle, the median rental across all properties in January 2021 was $1,933, according to RentCafe. In Bellevue, median rent sits at $2,134, in the same period.

It’s not clear from agent insights or other data whether the area will return to the 2014-2016 upswing, when many neighborhoods in the region endured yearly rent increases of 10% and more. The experts say it depends on several factors, like how quickly new apartments are added to the market.

The key takeaway is that the market in Washington is constantly shifting and if you are looking to buy, it’s best to keep an eye on the trends to be sure that you are making an educated investment for the future.

View Washington State Mortgage Rates Sep, 23, Thu, 2021

Need a Home Loan in Washington?

Will you need mortgage financing to buy a home in Washington? We can help. Sammamish Mortgage has been serving buyers across the Pacific Northwest since 1992. We offer a wide variety of mortgage programs with flexible qualification criteria in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Idaho. Please contact us today with any financing-related questions you have.

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