SEATTLE — Washington’s housing market is valued at $1 trillion, and the Seattle metro area makes up 64.4 percent that, according to a Zillow report released Thursday.
Although King County’s housing market has cooled recently – the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reports inventory increased 135 percent since December 2017 – the Seattle metro market still made big gains in 2018, adding $46.4 billion in value last year.
“Seattle in 2018 still kind of outpaced the country,” said Aaron Terrazas, Zillow senior economist.
The Seattle metro housing market is now worth $674.3 billion.
The real estate market hit the breaks as home appreciation halved over the last year. However, Terrazas cautioned the slowdown wasn’t on the scale of what we saw during the housing crash in 2008. By the end of 2018, homes were still appreciating by about 5.5 percent, and values had not gone negative.
Looking back at where Seattle was at the peak of the housing bubble, the market is now 35.5 percent or $176.8 billion more valuable. The market has also gained $326.8 billion since its lowest point.
So what’s next in 2019?
Terrazas said a lot of it will have to do with interest rates, which could continue to rise. Higher rates cut into buying power, and Terrazas predicted that could impact high-end real estate more so than more affordable homes and condos as buyers may be limited in their ability to stretch at a higher price point.
Overall uncertainty in the economy could also lead potential buyers to be more cautious.
“A lot of that fear is kind of what we’re seeing now,” Terrazas said. “People are holding back.”