Pacific Northwest Region Real Estate Trends
What’s Happening in the Real Estate Markets of Cascadia?
In a word: growth. The Pacific Northwest is booming. Well, at least its two most populous cities are. Seattle and Portland, thanks to continuing investment by the technology companies that call them home, are attracting more and more buyers to the region. This has had challenging effects in the short term, with a shortage of rental and real estate inventory. But construction companies and developers have gotten the message and are building as fast as they can on any available land in and around both cities.
Thanks to the shortage of inventory and the robust economies of both cities, prices have continued to rise across the region. These trends are expected to continue as production of new multi-family and single-family properties has not kept pace with rising demand. Further complicating matters, young people continue to move to the area in search of opportunities in technology and other assorted industries. These same trends have been a factor in the regions smaller communities as well, but to a lesser extent.
* Note: For the purposes of this article, the Pacific Northwest is defined as the parts of the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington that lie geographically west of the Cascade Mountain range.
Seattle, according to the Seattle Times, continues to dominate the nation with the fastest growing home prices. Seattle prices have gone up a whopping 10.4% compared with the same time a year ago, and don’t show any sign of slowing down. Seattle has been in the midst of a drought of available rental and real estate inventory, and local developers have risen to the occasion with a building boom.
Not to be terribly outdone by Seattle, Portland home prices rose by a whopping 10.1% over the last year, placing it second on the list of American cities with the fastest growing home values. Also, similar to Seattle, Portland is currently in the midst of a multi-family and single-family building boom in an effort to address lack of available inventory while the city government looks into rent control and other measures to address rapidly escalating rents and no-cause evictions.
Other cities in the region, including Tacoma, Bellingham, and Vancouver on the Washington side of the Columbia River; and Eugene and Medford on the Oregon side, have also been growing in population and struggling to keep up with available inventory. They just haven’t been growing as fast as Portland and Seattle. According to the Tacoma News Tribune, Tacoma and the region’s other smaller cities are experiencing growth rates of right around 10% as well.
A Seller’s Market
If you’re considering a move to the Pacific Northwest, your timing may not be perfect. With a lack of inventory, rising rents, and rising home prices, the major cities and smaller communities of Cascadia currently comprise one of the best markets in the country for sellers. But with developers and contractors working overtime to fill in the gaps of the region’s neighborhoods, relief for buyers may soon be on the horizon.
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