A neighborhood along Lake Washington in Seattle.
Aerial view of a neighborhood in Seattle.
SEATTLE, WA – OCTOBER 31: A Redfin real estate yard sign is pictured in front of a house for sale on October 31, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. Seattle has been one of the fastest and most competitive housing markets in the United States throughout 2017. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images for Redfin)
Spring home shopping season has arrived in Seattle, and buyers should be ready for a red-hot market fueled by high demand and low inventory that is driving up values.
Case in point: a new market report from Zillow found that Seattle home values have increased by nearly $80,000 over the last year.
The typical home in the city is now worth $627,290, up a staggering 14.6% since last April and 1.7% from March 2021. Across the country, typical home values increased a record-high 1.3% in April to an average of $281,370, up 11.6% in the last year.
While the report found that inventory in Seattle was up a mere 3.5% from this time last year, experts believe that number will grow more second half of this year or early 2022.
“It’s clear the inventory shortage won’t reverse itself overnight, and that the relative lack of choice in the market is helping to drive home value appreciation to new heights and the time on market for those homes that do get listed to fresh lows,” the report stated. “Monthly appreciation in April was the fastest ever recorded in the 25-year history of the Zillow Home Value Index, and the annual growth rate was the fastest since 2005.”
Report: Seattle home values up $80k over last year
A majority of homes in the Emerald City — 52% — also sold above the listing price in February, although some downtown condominiums have started offering limited-time price reduction to attract buyers. The report also found that homes are going under contract in just six days in Seattle and seven days nationally.
It is unclear whether an anticipated increase in inventory will materialize, moderating prices and offering Seattle buyers some relief. According to the most recent data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, King County saw 4,602 new listings in April, up significantly from April of last year, when the county saw only 2,707 new listings added to the market.
Earlier in April, the King County Assessor’s Office began mailing out property valuation notices to residents, noting that residential property values in some areas had “risen dramatically” by 20%.
“No one knew what to expect a little over a year ago when this public health emergency began,” said King County Assessor John Wilson in a news release. “Now it is clear that a primary impact on property values has been caused by homeowners not wanting to sell at this time, leading to reduced supply and big price and value increases.”
While properties in Enumclaw and Black Diamond saw the largest increases in value in the entire county, up 21% and 22% respectively, Wilson predicted that Seattle properties were expected to see a single-digit increases, although those numbers had not been confirmed by the office.
In the rental market, prices are beginning to increase again following months of dramatic declines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Zillow said that rents across the country have experienced a 1.5% price hike, the largest spike since 2014, but closer to home in Seattle typical rents are still down 3% year over year.