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2022: What to Expect in the Washington Real Estate Market
December 13, 2021

2022: What to Expect in the Washington Real Estate Market

by The CE Shop Team

You May Be Busier Than Ever in Washington’s Hot 2022 Real Estate Market

Last year, Washington real estate exploded as sellers across the state juggled handfuls of bids and buyers offered tens of thousands over the asking price. As we head into 2022, the housing market in Washington is expected to continue that momentum. With high demand, low mortgage rates, and a strong economic rebound on the horizon, real estate agents across the Evergreen State should buckle up for another busy year.

2022 Washington Real Estate Outlook: Hot

In November 2021, the average home in Washington was priced at $555,943, a 22.8% increase (YoY). There’s little sign of prices stalling, though, as Zillow predicts this figure will rise by another 12.3% within the next year. Homes sold above listing price also increased by 2.4 pts. YoY, with 50.4% of homes selling above listing price in 2021. 

Rising prices are a positive sign for the state’s economy, which was especially crucial given that Washington was the first state to record a positive COVID-19 case back in 2019. Realtor.com has even predicted that the Spokane Valley will be one of the top housing markets positioned for growth in 2022. The area’s average home price is $352,000, well below the state’s average, which is pushing residents to the Spokane Valley in search of more affordable housing.

Unfortunately for prospective buyers, housing in general doesn’t offer a wealth of choice. New listings have slowly increased by just 1.0% YoY as of November 2021, but the number of homes for sale decreased by 40.3% during that same timeframe. The median days on market have grown to a mere 19 days on the market as of November 2021, up from this year’s low of just six days in April 2021. With a lack of homes entering the market, buyers can expect a competitive market in 2022. 

On the rental side of the market, rent prices increased by an average of 26.3% for a two-bedroom apartment statewide. Meanwhile, only 0.4% of Washington homeowners fell delinquent on their mortgage as of February 2021, which is lower than the national average of 0.7%. Only 1.4% of Washington mortgages accrued negative equity this year, and Evergreen State homeowners gained an average of $96k in equity during that same timeframe. 

As home prices have increased well above expectations and rental prices quickly rebounded after last year’s dip, Washington is ending the year on a high note for real estate agents, homeowners, and sellers alike. 

Zillow Home Data Washington
Source: Zillow

2021 - 2022 Washington Real Estate Market Data

Zillow Home Value Index

$555,943

Home Value Change YoY

+22.8%

One Year Home Values Forecast

+12.7% 

Rent Price Change YoY

+26.3%

The Percentage of Homes With Negative Equity

1.4%

Mortgage Delinquency Rate

0.4%

Available Housing Inventory

7,149

Buyer’s or Seller’s Market

Seller’s

Market Insights for Washington

Washington's Housing Market Forecast 2022

In October 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the state’s unemployment rate had fallen significantly from a high of 16.3% in April of 2020 to 5.0%. The emergence of the COVID-19 Delta variant held a noticeable grip on the state’s economy, which, naturally, impacted the job recovery. That being said, the unemployment rate is expected to continue to decrease in 2022. As healthy economic activity often correlates with growth in the real estate industry, decreasing unemployment rates are a promising sign for agents regarding the year ahead. 

This healthy economic activity and rebound are largely due to the state’s hard-working population. Most of this population resides in metro areas that continue to see large spikes in population. Consistent with years past, over 70% of the state’s population growth was in the five largest metropolitan counties: Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane.

There are a number of reasons why people love living in Washington, from its wealth of outdoor diversity to its booming cities.  Here’s how Washington shakes out in comparison with the rest of the nation:

  • Third in infrastructure
  • Fourth in education
  • Sixth in financial stability

With a strong 2022 forecast, Washington real estate agents will need to be at the top of their game from the moment the ball drops. This year, we expect high levels of real estate activity, ushering in a need for agents to help their communities navigate the choppy waters of this coastal housing market. From buyers with affordability top of mind to sellers fielding multiple offers, there has never been a better time to serve your fellow Washingtonians.

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