Two WA cities among’most popular’ US housing markets, Zillow report says

Hopeful homebuyers are setting their sights on Woodinville.

Zillow ranked the city of 13,000 residents northeast of Seattle as the country’s “most popular” housing market for the early part of 2022. The ranking is based on Zillow page views, home prices and other metrics.

Another Washington city made the list, too: Edmonds ranked No. 5.

Suburban cities in other states, from California to Florida, rounded out the top 10.

All of the top cities are about a half-hour from a city center, helping to “paint a picture of how remote work has changed the US housing landscape,” wrote Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud.

Interest in the suburbs — whether for more space or lower prices — has been a driving force in the local housing market since the start of the pandemic, with some areas outside of Seattle seeing home prices jump 20% to 30% in one year.

Even so, the housing market has begun to cool this spring as mortgage interest rates have spiked. Last month, fewer new homes hit the market in the Seattle area and more were still for sale at the end of the month than at the same time last year. Zillow’s analysis focused on the first three months of the year.

Single-family homes in the area covering Juanita and Woodinville sold for a median of $ 1.46 million last month, a 39% increase from the same month last year, according to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. That’s higher than the $ 1 million median in Seattle, which is up 17% from a year earlier.

Homebuyers are drawn to Woodinville’s combination of large lot sizes, a semirural feel and amenities such as wineries and restaurants, said Ryan Wilkerson, a John L. Scott broker who lives and works in Woodinville.

“That living is really attractive to a lot of people and it’s become even more so as we had pandemic lockdowns and work from home,” Wilkerson said.

Compared to Seattle, both more affordable and more expensive suburbs have seen big price jumps.

In Kirkland and Bridle Trails, where the median home sold for nearly $ 2.3 million, prices are up 43%. In Kirkland and Bridle Trails, where the median price is $ 670,000 and prices are up 25% year over year.

Similar trends have played out for renters, with monthly costs climbing in the suburbs early in the pandemic.

Among Wilkerson’s clients: tech workers moving up from their first house in the area to something more taking.

“We see a lot of those people coming our way with a bunch of equity from their house in Kirkland or Bellevue or Redmond,” he said.

But, like in other parts of the region, sky-high prices in Woodinville are squeezing buyers with less to spend.

“I’ve seen tons of people be able to retire early or have life-changing wealth growth” from the hot housing market, Wilkerson said. “And then I work with first-time homebuyers and it’s very difficult for them to afford anything. ”

Zillow’s rankings are based on average daily page views of home listings on its site from January through March; increases in home values ​​compared to the previous year and the previous quarter; the rate of houses listed for sale compared to total housing units; and the increase in listings from late last year (when the market is typically slower) to early 2022. The ranking excludes cities with fewer than 100 homes listed for sale.

In the city of Woodinville, 147 properties were listed in the first three months of this year, up about 11% from the final quarter of last year, and page views per listing were up 40%, according to Zillow. Edmonds saw 196 listings, up 32%, and page views were up 70%.

Those increases are signs of a typical spring uptick, when sellers list more homes and buyers go shopping.

Still, the market cooldown is likely to arrive in the suburbs, too.

In the Juanita / Woodinville area, almost twice as many homes were still listed for sale at the end of April as at the same time last year, and the number of pending sales was flat, according to Multiple Listing Service data. Pending sales in the Edmonds area were down about 18%.

In late 2021, Zillow competitor Redfin ranked its “hottest neighborhoods” for the coming year. In that ranking, based on page views, days on market and other factors, no Washington cities made the top 10. Eight of the 10 were in Florida.