As tech companies expand and offer more jobs and opportunities, housing prices are booming in the Seattle suburbs. These startups and long-standing companies have found the Greater Seattle area a thriving place to do business. With low crime rates, favorable politics, and an educated workforce, setting up headquarters outside the city is becoming more desirable to plant roots.
The Housing Market Boom
Buying a home in suburban areas these days can be challenging. With limited inventory, some prospective homebuyers are paying anywhere from $300,000 to $500.000 over the asking price, which is of course a major problem when it comes to affordable housing. A few homes on the Eastside have sold for 1 Million dollars + over the asking price since the start of 2022! Experts cite the COVID-19 pandemic as the initial cause of inventory being so low; however, we also have many millennials becoming first-time homebuyers.
As a first-time buyer, they have no home to sell – but mom & dad might be happy to have them out of their basement for the first time in 15 years! Many sellers have been holding off on putting their houses on the market, partly because, if they’re not moving out of the area, purchasing a new home has made it almost unaffordable to do so. What we’re left with is a minimal selection for would-be buyers.
In addition, as more companies set up their headquarters outside of Seattle metropolitan areas, potential workers see the benefits of joining them. More job prospects and bigger houses also help explain the drive out of the city. The pandemic highlighted the need for a home office space, a must-have that wasn’t previously high up on many buyer’s lists. Even now that businesses are mostly opened, it has become very typical for employees to work from home, even if it’s just one or two days a week.
The Seattle Times compared and analyzed data from 2019 and 2020. They found in 2020; people were leaving the city in droves – almost 36% more than in 2019. Much was due to people wanting more space away from their neighbors, but it can also be attributed to the homelessness situation in Seattle.
What the data shows us is they’re not going far. They’re going to surrounding suburbs in both King and Snohomish counties, not only popular cities on the Eastside like Bellevue and Kirkland. We are seeing lots of buyers pushed even further out to North Bend, Covington, Everett, and Lake Stevens – areas that only recently became very popular to live in.
This mass exodus is causing home sales prices to soar in these once-sleepy suburbs. But why are tech companies and their workers flocking to these towns?
Low Crime, More Space, and Community Support
In addition to its low crime rates and bustling downtown, tech companies are migrating to the suburbs for more space. There is room for parking lots, more prominent offices, and homes much larger than typical Seattle apartments & homes. With many Seattle-based businesses growing despondent over the ever-growing taxes thrown on them, suburban companies find their communities supportive of their growth.
The suburbs are becoming bustling hubs as well. In 2023, Sound Transit’s light rail will link Seattle to a host of popular suburbs.
Final Thoughts on the Current Real Estate Climate
87% of buyers purchase their home through a realtor. However, not all realtors are the same. With the Greater Seattle area experiencing such a hot market, multiple bid scenarios, and limited inventory, working with an experienced broker is crucial to secure a home in this market.
It’s still a great time with historic low-interest rates and a great time! If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, let’s connect to talk about your goals for buying or selling a home.