The name says it all: Maple Valley's Lake Wilderness shows the wide-open allure of the area.

The new state of real estate in King County goes a little something like this: Homes are about as expensive as they have ever been and the suburbs are still hot.

Last year's numbers from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service complete the picture. Looking at data from both condo and house sales, every single area in King County experienced an increase in median sale price in 2021, except one—Belltown/Downtown. Elsewhere, suburbs in South King County and the Eastside trended up, some as much as 30 percent. What's more, in nearly all these communities, the number of closed sales also increased, meaning more homes were sold and at more expensive prices.

Jovita/West Hill

Tucked near Federal Way and Auburn, this enclave is practically in Pierce County. What it lacks in proximity to Seattle's city core, though, it more than makes up for in affordability. The median sale price in 2021 was $590,000. Better hop on that quick, though, because that jumped from just $480,000 in 2020, an especially eyebrow-raising stat when you consider about the same number of homes were sold each year.

Price growth year-over-year: 22.92%
Median sale price in 2021: $590,000

Bellevue (east of 405)

A little less glossy than its downtown cousin to the west, this slice of the Eastside's biggest city still sports plenty of draws—Crossroads Mall, Bellevue Botanical Garden, and Kelsey Creek Park, to name a few. Add on the closeness factor to Lakes Sammamish and Washington, and, yeah...that median price topping $1 million makes total sense.

Price growth year-over-year: 23.89%
Median sale price in 2021: $1.115 million

Mercer Island

Let's be real—property on this exclusive island has always been in demand. (Its median price in 2020 was already at $1.59 million.) But sales were brisk in 2021, increasing by 10 percent, with nearly the same amount of homes going on the market as the previous year. Perhaps all that competition explains the staggering new median sale price.

Price growth year-over-year: 24%
Median sale price in 2021: $1.982 million

Renton (Benson Hill) 

South of downtown Renton, this micro burb has a lot going for it, including easy access to major thoroughfares and somewhat affordable prices. Recent numbers suggest that many folks have caught on to this. The number of sold properties and homes on the market remained steady between 2020 and 2021, but the median price rose by over $100,000.

Price growth year-over-year: 24.26%
Median sale price in 2021: $639,950

East of Lake Sammamish

Microsofties have long favored the plateau community of Sammamish for being close to Nerd HQ as well as a plethora of waterfront and mountain escapes. More homes went on the market in 2021 compared to the previous year, which might account for the slight uptick in sales. That $200,000 and change increase in the median sale price, however, we'll chalk up to the pull of this particular suburb.

Price growth year-over-year: 25.08%
Median sale price in 2021: $1.124 million

Black Diamond and Maple Valley

State Route 169 cuts through these former coal towns, which now serve as commuter hubs for those seeking a little space and quiet. And it seems quite a few folks are. While new listings were slightly down in 2021, closed sales were up around 7 percent. Which makes the nearly $150,000 increase in median sale price easy to understand but no easier to stomach.

Price growth year-over-year: 26.12%
Median sale price in 2021: $702,500

Eastside (south of 90)

Factoria and Newcastle might as well be considered suburbs of Bellevue. Some areas here are well developed, especially around T-Mobile headquarters, while others still have the wide-open rambling feel of the nearby Coal Creek Natural Area and Cougar Mountain. All that's to say, it's not exactly a surprise this area is popular, seeing the steepest median sale price percent increase of all King County last year.

Price growth year-over-year: 30.56%
Median sale price in 2021: $1.175 million

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