Seattle Real Estate Forecast

Seattle Washington was rated the hottest city in America for real estate not long ago. Although the greater Northwestern Washington region is selling well, change is in the wind.

In-migration (90,000 in 2018), booming tech sector, great jobs, and low availability of properties, drove home and condo prices skyward and made the market so hot.  Now migration has been out of Seattle, Redmond and Kirkland to neighboring cities such as Bellevue and Tacoma.

Data from Redfin shows the number of home sellers looking to leave the Seattle metro area has risen 13.7%, compared with 11.2% at the same time last year.

And the net outflow of homeowners from Seattle rose from 363 in the Q2 of 2019 rose to 6,007 in Q2 2020 which is a jump of 1,500%.  Is that enough to influence prices and apartment vacancies in metro Seattle?  Redfin found that Seattle home sellers were moving to Phoenix, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Home prices were rising faster than California and there’s plenty of talk of a housing bubble in Seattle, Kirkland and Redmond.  Seattle is still number 2 of major cities.  After a short stutter during this Covid pandemic, the Seattle housing market forecast is looking brighter.

For sure, the condo/apartment sector is hurting and will continue seeing growing vacancies as the shutdowns and work from home trend continue into 2021.

Strong Price Gains Likely to Return in 2021

Seattle continues to be one of the most expensive housing markets in the US, according to the Q3 report from NAR. However, the city is not on the full list of cities with the fastest-rising home prices this year. That’s due to the work from home, pandemic destination city migration to smaller cities which are benefiting more.  Tacoma’s home prices for instance grew 14.7% last 12 months and is expected to rise 9.5% further next year.

The biggest gainers price wise included Bridgeport, CT  (27.3%); Crestview, FL (27.1%); Pittsfield, MA (26.9%); Kingston, NY (21.5%); Atlantic City, NJ (21.5%); Boise, ID (20.6%); Wilmington, NC (20.6%); Barnstable, MA (19.4%); Memphis, TN (19.1%); and Youngstown, OH (19.1%).

Seattle/Northwest Region Housing Market November

Seattle’s brisk real estate market might take a slight breather in December, but the demand should return in January.

The latest Northwest MLS housing sales report showed a (YOY) 23% growth in home sales while prices rose 13.8%. Pending sales in November increased 7.9% from last November.  And housing inventory again shrunk by nearly 43%.

Screenshot courtesy of the NWMLS.

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO at John L. Scott Real Estate says “The rush is on for housing. Real estate activity typically chills as temperatures drop but buyer demand remains high. With low unsold inventory, all eyes will be on each new home that comes on the market.  This strong demand is present in the more affordable mid-price ranges and extends into high-end homes.”


Seattle Home Sales November 2020. Screenshot courtesy of NWMLS.

Perhaps the most amazing statistic during this pandemic, is the growth in closed sales for both houses and high density housing during November. A rise of 43% vs last November 2019.

Seattle Washington Real Estate Sales. Screenshot courtesy of NWMLS

Housing inventory over the last 12 months has shrunk by a whopping 53%.

Seattle Housing Supply 2020. Screenshot courtesy of NWMLS.

Hard To Keep Seattle Market Quiet

Seattle isn’t as dependent on tourism as cities in California, New York and Florida are.

Being the home of Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Weyerhaueser, the Seattle region is a compelling place for business. and jobs.  The city is so prosperous and optimistic, buyers are certain to buy in the city.

An exodus of Asian and other International buyers from the Vancouver Real Estate Market had brought in an additional source of investors into the Seattle area. The forecast is for more foreign buyers taxes in Vancouver BC, so Asian buyers will Seattle, Redmond, Spokane, Tacoma and Bellevue alternatives.

Seattle Business Climate

Seattle GDP history. Screenshot courtesy of Statista.


Seattle housing photo courtesy of Beautiful Seattle Home Seattle housing photo courtesy of

Strong population growth, a strong tech sector, diverse economy, educated workforce, enticing geography and diverse recreation opportunities are drawing more new residents at twice the national average. Seattle is consistently named as one of the best cities in America.

Festivities on Lake Washington

For homebuyers however, the day may have passed to find an affordable home in Seattle. If that’s the case, you may want to investigate the Boston real estate market, Salt Lake City Housing market, New York Real Estate market, Vancouver Real estate market, Houston real estate market, or the Miami real estate markets.

Yet is this any different than national housing forecasts for cities like San Diego, Los Angeles , San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Houston, or New York?

Although new housing construction is growing nationwide, availability is squeezed, even in Washington State. And with a lack of construction workers, there won’t be any easing of detached home prices or rental housing here. And with some Asian and other foreign buyers being locked out of the Vancouver housing market, they’re finding Seattle is a great place to park their money.

Zillow’s Price Predictions

Prices have reached all time highs into the fall season and Zillow predicts a further increase of 8.7% by next October.

Seattle Home Price History Timeline chart. Screenshot courtesy of Zillow.

Condos and apartment prices have not recovered as yet, given the exodus of workers from Seattle.  A techsodus of sorts is occurring outside of California.

Seattle Condo Price History chart. Screenshot courtesy of Zillow.

Rents were steadily high for 3 years before the pandemic killed the multifamily apartment sector.  This year’s rents have plummeted 20% YoY.

Seattle Rent Prices. Screenshot courtesy of Zumper.


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