Suburban State of Mind

How Are the Suburbs Faring in the Housing Market Cooldown?

Some former real estate market darlings on the Eastside and in South King County are still on the rise. Others, not so much.

By Seattle Met Staff September 16, 2022

Price growth is up on the east side of Auburn, with Lake Holm. The west side is a different story.

Is the real estate market headed for a crash? According to the latest numbers from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, not yet. 

As mortgage rates have inched upward, topping 6 percent for the first time since 2008, would-be buyers are holding off, waiting to see if housing prices continue to decline. In Seattle proper, some neighborhoods saw dips in August median sale price growth. Others still made modest gains. So what about the suburbs, where skyrocketing prices and bonkers year-over-year price growth have been the name of the real estate market game for the last couple of years? As you can see, it's a mixed bag.

Rising

6. Kent

Want a sign that the local housing market isn't in a freefall yet? Kent is it. This South King County city has shown consistently steady year-over-year price growth in 2022. Further proof homes here are in high demand: That median sale price rose even as the number of listings and inventory did too.
August 2022 median sale price: $646,000
Price growth year-over-year: 13.23 percent

Kent's home prices are up, but at least the view is nice.

5. Lake Forest Park

From consistent Kent to...Lake Forest Park. Price growth here was up as much as 52 percent in May, and then down during June and July. That median sale price might have something to do with it. It's one of the more expensive suburbs, and a steep price jump may be hard for some to stomach. This time last year, that cost was $110,000 less.
August 2022 median sale price: $910,000
Price growth year-over-year: 13.75 percent

4. Enumclaw

Like Kent, the southeast town of Enumclaw has seen steady and stable growth this year. And, like Kent, those still-affordable home prices are likely the driving force. How long they'll stay "affordable" is an entirely different question.  
August 2022 median sale price: $615,000
Price growth year-over-year: 13.9 percent

3. Richmond Beach and Shoreline

A few years ago, this suburb bordering the northwest end of Seattle was where homeowners could go to find more space, good schools, and slightly more reasonable prices. That's no longer the case with a median sale price now on par with the likes of Ballard, Greenwood, and Greenlake. 
August 2022 median sale price: $860,000
Price growth year-over-year: 14.67 percent

2. Auburn

Auburn has seen a rapid rise in housing inventory. Back in May, there was just 0.88 months of inventory. In August, 1.97 months. Despite that, price growth hasn't slowed. 
August 2022 median sale price: $587,400
Price growth year-over-year: 15.63 percent

1. Redmond and Carnation

Not the Eastside community you thought you'd see in the top spot, is it? While Bellevue and Mercer Island have dominated in bonkers price growth this past year, Redmond and Carnation snuck in this month. That median sale price is still bananas, though.
August 2022 median sale price: $1,300,000
Price growth year-over-year: 20.65 percent

Falling

4. Jovita and West Hill

Homes here were once in high demand during the brisk 2021 market. They still are, just not at quite the quick clip. It's really the tale of two Auburns, though, as the area east of Highway 167 made our list on the positive growth side.
August 2022 median sale price: $585,000
Price growth year-over-year: -2.66 percent

3. Bellevue (West of 405)

The downtown commercial core of Bellevue was once the real estate market that always could, but recent numbers suggest that median sale price has reached limiting levels. At $1.7 million, this area has the second-highest median sale price in the county.
August 2022 median sale price: $1,700,000
Price growth year-over-year: -5.21 percent

2. Kirkland and Bridle Trails

The jury's still out on whether Kirkland and Bridle Trails are fully on the outs. August's numbers show a pretty significant price decline, but in April and May, median sale prices were up 50 and 45 percent, respectively.
August 2022 median sale price: $1,250,000
Price growth year-over-year: -10.71 percent

The median sale price dipped on Vashon; the kayaks are still afloat.

IMAGE: JANE SHERMAN

1. Vashon Island

It's always tricky decoding Vashon's stats because a limited inventory (there were just 17 active listings in August) means median sale prices live and die by the types of properties that sell. And with nearly no condos in this island community, single-family home sales are it.
August 2022 median sale price: $879,000
Price growth year-over-year: -17.27 percent

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