Being the suburb of fast-growing Seattle and Bellevue means the tight Snoqualmie Valley housing market may persist into 2018. As people continue moving to King County for its robust job market due in part to companies like Amazon – and Seattle home prices continue to skyrocket – more people seem willing to tackle longer commutes in order to afford a home.
Combine the search for more housing affordability (Snoqualmie’s median home price is 200K less than Bellevue according to Zillow), with small town charm, low crime and the Valley’s outdoor beauty – and it’s probably no surprise why home developers keep buying up pockets of land and our population keeps rising.
According to local real estate agent Nancy Backman, the Snoqualmie Valley has seen tremendous home price increases over the past year. She said for homes priced $475,000 and above, average sale prices are up significantly across the board, with the largest price increase in Snoqualmie. According to Zillow, median prices in Snoqualmie (98065 zip code) increased nearly 14% from December 2016 to December 2017.
Nancy said inventory has also shrunk. Over the past two years, the number of Snoqualmie Valley homes for sale has decreased in all areas: down 18.2% in Snoqualmie, 3.7% in North Bend and 30.8 % in Fall City.
Currently, Valley-wide, there is less than a two month’s supply of home inventory. That tight market means homes across the area have also been selling at and above their list prices – and most are selling fast. John L. Scott reports in December 78% of homes in the central Puget Sound region sold in the first 30 days.
Could it get Tighter?
After 20 years of constant home construction, Snoqualmie Ridge is currently estimated to be built out in 2018, but North Bend will continue to build many new homes during the next few years.
According to a Full-Build out Traffic Impact Analysis, North Bend has multiple housing and commercial projects scheduled to be completed between 2017-2023, including eight apartment and/or home developments totally nearly 700 units.(Note: this number does NOT include the proposed 200-unit Dahlgren property development.)
The analysis also states city officials anticipate significant population growth by 2035 – nearly doubling to 14,400 residents.
Nancy sees the tight housing market continuing in 2018, noting a Seattle Times article explaining that “Seattle has long been one of the top 10 metro areas in the influential “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” study put out annually by PwC and the Urban Land Institute.”
Last year the report ranked Seattle No. 4. In 2018 Seattle is ranked # 1. It’s important to note that this report is mainly for those who work and invest in real estate, but according to the Times it’s considered “an important measure of economic conditions.”
While the Snoqualmie Valley often experiences real estate price increases less dramatic than the Seattle/Bellevue markets, we tend to follow similar trends.
According to PwC Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2018, here are some important factors influencing the Local Property/Market Outlook for Seattle:
Demographics and livability
- Population growth in Seattle is twice the national rate and the market is expected to gain nearly 29,000 new residents a year over the next five years, with the population aged 15 – 34 rising by a total of 17.3% during that same period
- Seattle has a young, educated population (17% with graduate or professional degrees and 37% with associates or Bachelors degrees)
- Top ranking for outdoor activities, with 93% of residents with walkable access to a city park
- Seattle is rated as a top 5 culinary market
- Top rated microbrew market with 1 brewery per 19,000 residents
- 5-year disposable income growth is projected to be good
- Home prices are at 123% of previous peak
- Twice the U.S. percentage (12%) of employees in STEM occupations, with 4.5% of the workforce employed in computer programming related occupations
- 6.63 patents awarded per 1,000 residents
- 94% of households have a computer and 88% have access to high-speed internet
- Top destination for international visitors
- 4.5% of total employment in Foreign Owned Entities
Ease of doing business
- 10.2% of firms have been in business less than 3 years and employ 2.6% of total employment