In 2020, we saw homebuyer patterns shift dramatically, and these trends are continuing into 2021. If we had to sum up current King County real estate trends in just 2 quick takeaways, here they are:
- Single-family homes are like GOLD.
- Condo sales are down nearly in every area in King County.
Now I’m going to dive into alllll the real estate stats and facts you need to know, starting with Seattle:
Seattle Real Estate End of 2020 Recap
Like I already mentioned, condo sales are down, and this is *especially* true in areas like Downtown Seattle, Belltown, Capitol Hill, etc. People just don’t want to be in densely populated areas anymore due to COVID-19 (unsurprising!), and we’ve also heard from many clients and others that the protests over the summer have affected where they want to live.
Capitol Hill is probably the saddest of the stories, though. We think CHOP really did scare people out of wanting to be there. (Pooey—we love Capitol Hill!) Capitol Hill’s YOY median price (from November 2019 to November 2020) was only up 0.6%, whereas the rest of Seattle saw a 12.59% increase in median home prices.
If you’re thinking about moving up from a condo to a house, it’s better to do it sooner than later. Houses are greatly outpacing condos and townhouses for appreciation. People just want a little more space these days due to COVID-19, and we also have to consider that many Millennials are deep into their 30s and starting or expanding their families. They also want more space.
Selling a condo right now is also going to be very dependent on the area you’re in. Condos in places like Downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill, Belltown, South Lake Union, etc. aren’t doing so at the moment. If you bought your condo recently, you might want to hang onto it for a while. However, if you’ve owned your condo for a long time, you’re likely in much better shape! Condos in Ballard, Wedgwood, and basically most places in North Seattle seem to be doing just fine.
Like all “problems” in real estate, this too will pass. (We’ve really seen it all over the years.)
Single-family homes in King County have appreciated extraordinarily well in the past year due to the pandemic. Here’s a quick snapshot of median home price increases YOY from November 2019 – November 2020:
- North Beacon Hill is up 11%
- Queen Anne is up 5%
- The whole Ballard/Fremont/Crown Hill/Sunset Park area is up 13%
- The Wallingford/U-District/ Bryant/Laurelhurst area is all up 16.9%
Basically, think about what Millennials with families typically want, and we’re the areas that offer these amenities have appreciation numbers that continue to climb.
Long story short: If you’re selling a house in Seattle, you’ll be fine.
Most Seattle neighborhoods saw double digit increases, and while it might not be keeping pace with Bellevue (more on that in a moment), Seattle started its skyrocketing appreciation yearsssss ago, and in no way are Seattle’s home prices plummeting.
Remember: for many many YEARS, Seattle has needed ~90,000 housing units to keep up with demand when we could only produce ~30,000. So even if there is a slight decline in people wanting to live in Seattle, there is still an immense demand for housing in our city. Until supply picks up (and we only have so much space here), homeowners don’t have to worry about prices going down.
Now, onto the Eastside.
Eastside Real Estate End of 2020 Recap
The Eastside is ON FIRE! (Well, not like that.) But real estate prices are absolutely soaring.
If you want to move to a city on the Eastside (which includes cities like Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville, Factoria, Issaquah, etc.) and you want to buy a house, our first piece of advice is to do it as soon as possible.
Here’s a quick snapshot of YOY median home price increases from November 2019 – November 2020:
- South Bellevue Area (including cities like Factoria and Issaquah) is up 30.7% for houses. In November 2019, the median was $860,000. Today, the median is $1,500,000.
- Downtown Bellevue went up 34%. In November 2019, the median price was $2,250,000. Today, it’s at $3,018,000. (Yes, really. !!!)
- The East Bellevue area went up 21.7%. In November 2019, the median was $912,500, and today it’s $1,111,000.
Prices are going up fast fast FAST (that is probably a serious understatement in this case), and a ~2.5% interest rate is contributing to that.
If you’re selling a condo in Bellevue (or most places on the Eastside), you’re going to be just fine. You’re likely going to make a huge profit. The Eastside has a LOT going for it right now—there’s the Light Rail coming, and corporations like Google and Amazon are choosing Bellevue for their second headquarters.
Do you have a question about real estate in Seattle or Bellevue? We’re happy to chat! You can reach out here.