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Silicon Refugees are Fueling Seattle’s Real Estate Increases

According to Zillow, one of the nations largest real estate analysts, Seattle homeowners should be prepared for a jump in their home values this year. With so many tech employees jumping ship in Silicon Valley, primarily dues to new satellite buildings and companies popping up in Seattle and the lower cost of living in Seattle, home prices are near record highs.

An economist at Zillow calls these movers, Silicon Refugees, as Seattle home prices are much more attractive than those in Northern California. A $1 million dollar home in Northern California, specifically in places like Mountain View and Silicon Valley would roughly sell for half that in Kirkland, one of Washington’s most expensive city. The upside is that wages and salaries do not vary as much as house prices so employees making the same amount of money can buy a larger house in the Seattle area.

But this all comes at a price. Home prices will continue to skyrocket this year and forecasts predict a 6.1% increase in Bellevue, on Seattle’s Eastside and a 5.4% growth in the entire Puget Sound and Seattle region. However, this is a little bit of a slowdown from 2015. Prices rose nearly 10% in Bellevue and Seattle last year. While this is not the aggressive growth we have seen over the last 12 months, it is a good sign that home values are leveling off. Too sharp an increase can imbalance the market making a housing bubble likely in the future.

The good news is the tech savvy people moving to our area; the bad news is those that have already been here are finding it hard to compete. Rents are also increasing, using up more money that first time buyers could be using to save for a down payment. With all this being said, it still looks like a good market across the Seattle region for 2016. [Source]

If you are interested in a free consultation on which areas best to buy or invest in the Greater Seattle area, contact Mary Pongtoday.