A real estate sign in Seattle.
It’s no secret housing prices in the Seattle area have been going up.
Over the past year, limited inventory has lead to competition and bidding wars among eager buyers hoping to take advantage of low mortgage rates.
For buyers who are looking for more affordable homes, the Seattle metro area might not have much to offer. According to a new study from Inspection Support Network, the Seattle metro area took the sixth spot on a list of large metro areas with the most expensive homes per square foot.
The median price per square foot for Seattle homes was $333.29, according to the study. That price shot up about 12% year over year as of February, similar to the year over year increase in the overall price of homes in the metro area. Seattle has also seen a significant year over year increase among its more affordable homes, according to a Zillow study, further making owning a home out of reach for many people.
“After a full year of working and schooling from home—and with many employers considering whether to continue remote work arrangements even after the pandemic is under control—living space is at a premium,” the study said.
Some people who were able to keep working throughout the pandemic could now have the resources to buy, the study said.
“Simultaneously, government stabilization and stimulus measures during the pandemic, including sustained low interest rates and multiple rounds of cash payments to individual households, have pumped money into the economy,” the study said. “For middle and upper-income earners whose jobs easily transitioned to remote work—and never experienced the economic shock of losing a job—these measures have helped boost savings rates to record levels. A growing number of would-be homebuyers now have both motivation and means to buy.”
Across the country, though, a lack of supply has continued to drive up prices. Potential sellers also have the added concern of finding a new home.
Seattle wasn’t the only metro area experiencing this trend. Across the country, real estate prices for residential homes per square foot rose about $27. So, what might come out of this trend of incresaing prices and more competition?
“With prices rising, one trend to watch will be whether buyers abandon expensive, high-demand markets in favor of more affordable locations,” the report said. “The pandemic has made virtual work more common than ever, and employees’ physical presence at the office is not the requirement it once was. Moving forward, workers may decide that they would rather have more space at a lower cost, even if it means living further away from work or putting down roots in a less glamorous locale.”