Washington Falls Behind Nevada for Fastest Home Price Growth in the Nation
After 20 months of leading the nation in home price growth, Seattle Times reports that the Evergreen state now trails behind Nevada in year-over-year price gains, though—to the chagrin of buyers everywhere—it’s not “because homes here have suddenly become cheap.” As of June 2018, prices across the state as a whole grew 12.1% compared to this same time last year, down slightly from the 12.8 percent increases reported in May. Many of the region’s markets saw a deceleration of at least 1 percent from May to June, including Seattle, Bellingham, Mount Vernon/Anacortes and Bremerton/Silverdale, among others.
Market experts say this trend is likely to continue, as a recent Northwest Multiple Listing Service report indicates slowing home price growth in July, at 8.4 percent for the Washington counties it covers (representing just over half of the state).
Nevada’s surge may be attributed to just how far prices fell following the recession. While Washington residences dropped an average of 30 percent in value at that time, Nevada saw declines of double that rate, at 60 percent. Comparing the two markets, Nevada as whole is approximately $100K less expensive than Washington, and “Seattle is three times more expensive than Las Vegas.”
The median cost of a home in Washington state is $360K, but as the article notes, “statewide averages mask huge differences” as prices are as low as $100,000 in Lincoln County, $141,000 in Columbia County and just over $150,000 in Adams and Ferry counties. “The second-most expensive place outside King County is not even in commute range from Seattle: In little San Juan County, vacation homes have pushed home values to $475,000 (just ahead of Snohomish County).”
A cooling off of the market in Washington reflects a national course, with only two other states boasting double-digit year-over-year growth: Idaho and Utah, at 11.4 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively.