The drumbeat of Seattle’s residential real estate market has been steady: Prices just keep going up, up and up. All last year, home prices in the city grew at a quicker pace than anywhere else in the country—discouraging for new home buyers, but good news for homeowners, whether they are thinking of cashing in on their investment or sitting still and watching their equity grow.
If you’re one of the newcomers to the city, someone with a decent income who’s looking for a house or townhome with a few bedrooms and a bit of land, can you still find such a property in the city? Of course, that depends on what you can afford. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a home in many Seattle neighborhoods for less than $700,000, unless you’re willing to buy a fixer-upper, says Mark Corcoran, a Windermere Real Estate broker. “I tell those clients not to look in the city unless they’re willing to put some work into it.”
For Corcoran, the sweet spot in the city is West Seattle, where homes are a little more affordable. “You can get a townhome here for about $450,000 that would be almost double the cost in Ballard,” he says. And if you want to avoid one of the bidding wars you’ve heard about? That’ll be hard to do, unless you can spend close to $2 million or more. There’s a sharp decline in offers for homes priced at $1.7 million and above. “Maybe then, there will only be three offers rather than a dozen,” says Corcoran.
Still want to buy in the city? Follow these price points to see where you’re likely to find a house in your range, and where homes are likely to appreciate the most. All figures are for median home prices.
Rainier View, $389,500
South Park, $392,400
Neighborhoods with Homes at about $500,000
Holly Park, $523,200
Neighborhoods with Homes at about $750,000
Maple Leaf, $749,100
Central District, $751,300
Olympic Manor, $972,900
Hawthorne Hills, $1,080,700
*As of December 2017, according to Zillow