Seattle jumped from No. 20 to No. 14 in the country in a ranking of areas with the most homes valued at $1 million or more.
Million-dollar homes are no longer widespread just in Manhattan, Beverly Hills and San Francisco: They’re now popping up all over the Seattle area, like mushrooms.
The number of homes worth at least $1 million has tripled in the last four years across the Seattle metro area, which includes part of the Eastside, according to figures to be released Thursday by real-estate site Trulia.
In all, 7 percent of all single-family homes in the region are worth seven figures, up from 2.5 percent in 2012.
The Seattle area is the 10th-fastest-growing market for million-dollar homes in the country, behind only New York, Honolulu and several spots in California.
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Not surprisingly, perhaps, the homes that have recently passed the seven-figure threshold are concentrated in clusters along the water, from Mercer Island and west Bellevue to Montlake and Laurelhurst near the University of Washington.
It’s worse in California
But cheer up, Seattle: As with all things real estate, things aren’t nearly as bad here as in California. San Francisco (57 percent of homes are now worth at least $1 million), and San Jose (46 percent) far outpace the country, and Oakland was third (20 percent); Los Angeles and Orange County were next.
And no, Seattle is not headed toward becoming “the next San Francisco,” said Trulia’s chief economist, Ralph McLaughlin, citing factors such as an increasing housing stock and a seemingly inevitable economic slowdown coming at some point.
“We don’t expect (Seattle’s) share of million-dollar homes to triple every four years like we’ve seen,” McLaughlin said. “We do think it’ll plateau off,” thought he projects the number of million-dollar homes should continue to rise slightly.
Seattle had been 20th in the country in 2012 in terms of million-dollar homes as a percentage of all homes,and has worked its way up to 14th on the list now, the Trulia data shows.
During that span, Seattle’s million-dollar-home share surpassed that of regions such as Washington, D.C., and Miami, and pulled roughly even with Boston’s.
Seattle now has more than twice as many seven-figure houses per capita as two other tech hubs, Denver and Austin, and four times as many as Portland, Ore.
“I think people recognize that they might be priced out of certain neighborhoods,” said Karlyn Goetz, a Redfin agent who deals with seven-figure homes in Seattle. “The good news is with all the growth in Seattle a lot of neighborhoods that are nearby are becoming equally desirable.”
The role of tech jobs
McLaughlin and Goetz pointed to Seattle’s outsized job growth in the tech industry — where high salaries mean more people can afford pricey houses — as a primary reason for escalation at the top of the housing market. Also, with the increasing numbers of apartments and condos, single-family homes are becoming more prized, and the region continues to attract newcomers from other, pricier areas that might see a $1 million house as “affordable” by comparison.
Across the metro area, the Bridle Trails equestrian neighborhood in Bellevue saw the sharpest rise in homes worth at least $1 million, up about 35 percent in the last four years. The neighborhood with the highest concentration of seven-figure houses remained Broadmoor, a gated residential community on a Seattle golf course where 97 percent of the houses are worth at least $1 million.
Among the larger Seattle neighborhoods, Capitol Hill saw its share of million-dollar homes rise from 11 percent to 24 percent in the last four years; East and West Queen Anne grew from about 12 percent to 30 percent; Belltown from 3.6 percent to 8.4 percent; and Fremont from 0.7 percent to 6.1 percent. According to Trulia, Beacon Hill in South Seattle was the only area in the region where the share of million-dollar homes clocked in at 0.0 percent.
Overall, 1 of every 14 homes across the region will run you $1 million or more now, up from 1 out of every 40 houses in 2012.
Of course, it’s not just the ritziest homes that have seen price tags soaring, as Seattle routinely lands on various “top 10” lists for rising housing costs.
The median price for a single-family home sold in Seattle last month reached $637,250, up from $425,000 four years prior, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Trulia’s data, however, includes the value of all homes, not just those for sale.
|Percent of homes costing $1 million and up, by metro area|
|7.||Fairfield County, Conn.||14.6%|
|11.||Ventura County, Calif.||9%|
|15.||Silver Spring, Md.||6.6%|
|U.S. average, big metros||3%|