Collecting Data: The State of Seattle Real Estate

by Erin VieraFebruary 21, 2017

Market Report for the Emerald City

Seattle real estate has just come off of a banner year. According to City Living Seattle, the median price for a home in Seattle rose by nearly 15% in 2016 alone. And according to the annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report, as reported in the Seattle Times, the Seattle market is supposed to have another stunning year in 2017, calling it the fourth hottest market in the nation behind Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Portland. What’s more, Seattle’s severely stressed rental market is finally experiencing something like relief.

So why, in a year expected to see eroding consumer confidence in the face of uncertainty regarding many social, political, and economic forces, is Seattle, among other cities, expected to continue to boom? The answer, in a word, is technology. With several powerhouse businesses in the booming tech sector (think Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft), Seattle has fostered an environment of tech entrepreneurship that has continued to draw educated young people to the area who earn a good living.

Seattle Cityscape. Seattle Washington Downtown. United States.

Seattle Cityscape. Seattle Washington Downtown. United States.

Everything Is Going Up in Seattle

Because so many young people will be moving to Seattle from around the country, living in the city and earning good money, it stands to reason that we can expect a similar rise in the number of new families being started. New families need homes to live in, which generally puts pressure on the single-family home market. Unfortunately, this is not the only factor putting pressure on the Seattle real estate market.

Seattle Vista Bench. Seattle Skyline and the Bay Vista Wooden Bench. Seattle Washington USA.

Seattle Vista Bench. Seattle Skyline and the Bay Vista Wooden Bench. Seattle Washington USA.

Buying a House in 2017 Seattle Will Be More Expensive Than Ever

The same lack of inventory that has plagued other cities in the country will be coupled with Seattle’s anticipated growth rate (two times the national average) to make 2017 another year for sellers in the Seattle area. Add to those pressures the general lack of available land to build on within the Seattle metro area, and it’s somewhat surprising that Seattle ranks 12th nationwide in new home building projects. Prices are expected to continue to rise at near 2016 rates, and inventory will continue to be an issue affecting prospective homeowners.

Apartment house exterior in Seattle. Balcony view. Northwest USA

Apartment house exterior in Seattle. Balcony view. Northwest USA

Seattle in 2017

Despite the gloomy forecast for prospective buyers, the attractiveness of living in a city surrounded by beautiful mountains, within a couple hours of pristine coastline, and the lure of top-paying jobs with growing companies in growing parts of the tech sector will continue to be a draw to the region.

This, coupled with the other factors driving the lack of available inventory, will continue to push home values and subsequently, prices are expected to go higher and higher.

SEATTLE WA - SEPTEMBER 10 2016: Seattle's rapidly growing downtown and waterfront area with pro sports stadiums in the background is seen from the Space Needle at 520 feet.

SEATTLE WA – SEPTEMBER 10 2016: Seattle’s rapidly growing downtown and waterfront area with pro sports stadiums in the background is seen from the Space Needle at 520 feet.


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Erin Viera

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