Housing Market in Seattle: What is the 2020 Forecast?

Current Outlook

On a national level, a lot of economists,  investors, property developers, researchers and lenders are starting to smell a recession. Zillow research forecasts a housing recession in 2020. Factors like monetary policy, home prices exceeding 2018-pre-crisis levels, trade wars with China and stock corrections are creating anxiety in the markets. Currently, we’re still riding the longest bull market in our country’s history. Eventually, what goes up.. You know the rest. What does the housing market Forecast look like in Seattle for 2020? Read on..

Housing Market in Seattle zillow

Seattle still in growth mode

The Urban Land Institute and PwC are still placing Seattle in the top ten cities for real estate growth in 2020. The emerald city and surrounding suburbs are still desirable. Although the exponential growth of the housing market in Seattle is starting to stagnate a little, it’s still in high demand for investors and developers. 

Job growth is still on the rise, and we’re still seeing a lot of migrants moving to the area. 

For live details on housing market data, check out our other blog posts or our market stats page with has live market stats directly from the NWMLS.


Seattle Job Growth Glassdoor
October 2019YoY
Seattle Open Jobs122,95015.5%
U.S. Open Jobs6,080,8625.1%
Seattle Median Pay$ 64,6392.4%
U.S. Median Pay$ 54,3272.1%

Source: ULI & PwC 

Healthy correction | Buyers rejoice

Most major cities in the Seattle area still have less than two months of monthly housing inventory; this is a stark contrast to a six month inventory in a normal, balanced housing market. 

However, this recent sluggishness in growth will give buyers some much needed relief in trying to secure homes for their families. Homes are sitting on the market 75% longer in Seattle than they were at the same time last year.  Buyers can now negotiate prices, conduct detailed inspections (rather than waving them) and no longer have to compete with multiple offers in a lot of cases. 

Current interest rates are still low for the time being. Fed rate hikes are uncertain, but if 30 year treasury bond rates fall substantially it could signal economic weakness, triggering lower prices and even lower rates. 

Source: Bankrate

With the current state of the housing market in Seattle, it’s less likely to be impacted by a national recession. That being said prices will continue to move lower as a healthy correction is already taking place.

  • Zillow estimates a 3.9% drop in home prices for Seattle 2020.
  • It will continue to be a cooler market and much stronger for buyers. 

Not all Seattle Metropolitan areas are in decline mode however; Tacoma for example is up 9.4% YoY and expected to rise another 3.4% over the next 12 months. Buyers are willing to commute farther for lower prices and a lot of surrounding cities are seeing more growth because of it. Pierce and Snohomish counties are seeing a lot more growth than King. Check out the below NWMLS data that shows the historical home price increases in Tacoma, Kent, Renton and Auburn. 

TLDR 2020 Forecast for the Housing Market In Seattle:

  • The U.S. is likely due for a recession in 2020
  • Seattle still in top ten growth cities per Pwc and ULI
  • FED rates likely to stay low
  • Buyers market to continue in 2020
  • Seattle area will be less impacted but will see stagnated growth

Thanks for reading our post. If you find yourself needing to buy or sell a home in the Seattle Metropolitan Area, Contact Us. Team Sno-King brings over 15 years real estate brokerage experience in the Seattle housing market and is your community partner in any of your real estate endeavors. 

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