# 1 - Is Going To Blow Your Mind!
THE CONTINUED UNCERTAINTY about return-to-work policies combined with historic lows in inventory has made for a sizzling Seattle housing market—especially in the suburbs.
In January, eight communities saw more than a 30 percent increase in the median sale price of homes compared to this time last year. So, uh, good luck if you’re trying to buy in Bellevue and don’t have an extra million to spare.
(Sneak Peek at #1: Bellevue passes Manhattan in housing prices!)
8. Kirkland/Bridle Trails
The suburb north of Bellevue has a lot going for it: picturesque waterfronts, a state park, the honor of being the namesake for Costco’s signature products. What it doesn’t have is a lot of homes available to buy. January inventory was down more than 73 percent compared to this time last year. Home prices, though, were up...way up.
January 2022 median sale price: $1,507,500
Price growth year-over-year: 30.52 percent
Nestled along the northeast crook of Lake Washington, this area has received quite the boon in recent decades, aided by the slew of tasting rooms that have made it their home. Active listings in January dropped more than 63 percent from the same month last year, but if you’re looking for a condo, good luck: condo inventory dropped by 97 percent.
January 2022 median sale price: $1,067,500
Price growth year-over-year: 33.44 percent
This small community in the shadow of Rainier is perhaps more a suburb of Tacoma than Seattle, but in these days of Zoom, we still say it counts. It continues the contrary trend by actually making this list after logging more inventory than last January and with a median sale price that’s way more expensive than 2021 but still somewhat (in this market) affordable. Emphasis on the somewhat part.
January 2022 median sale price: $641,250
Price growth year-over-year: 40.04 percent
5. Renton Highlands
It’s not just Boeing folks settling down in these parts anymore. Priced-out Seattleites have discovered the charms of this formerly quiet suburb, just a stone’s throw from Cougar, Squak, and Tiger Mountains. Unfortunately, that comes with a price. How about a nearly $300,000 increase in the median sale price year over year?
January 2022 median sale price: $831,000
Price growth year-over-year: 44.15 percent
4. Renton Benson Hill
Slightly south of Renton’s Highlands neighborhood, Benson Hill was one of the hottest suburbs last year. The number of homes available in January actually went up compared to the previous year—a little over 6 percent total, or a whopping 33.33 percent when you look at just single-family homes—yet prices jumped without the scarcity-induced bidding wars.
January 2022 median sale price: $685,000
Price growth year-over-year: 45.44 percent
3. Newcastle, Factoria, Newport (Eastside, South of 90)
Another group of communities that made the list of suburbs to watch this year has, no surprise, continued to prove just how wild the housing market is right now. The median sale price of a home in these Bellevue neighborhoods (and Bellevue adjacent town) increased by more than half a mil from January 2021.
January 2022 median sale price: $1,417,500
Price growth year-over-year: 63.87 percent
2. Bellevue (West of 405)
With the affluent communities of Medina and Clyde Hill, not to mention the city’s booming downtown, this half of Bellevue has always been a pricey place. Well, remember that extra million we mentioned? Yep, the median sale price in this suburban area leapt by seven figures between January 2021 and 2022.
January 2022 median sale price: $2,225,000
Price growth year-over-year: 84.8 percent
1. Bellevue (East of 405)
Are you sitting down? This section of Bellevue doesn’t have quite the same reputation as its counterpart to the west, but it sure is seeming like a good place to invest. The median sale price for a home here doubled—that is not a typo—year over year.
January 2022 median sale price: $1,500,000
Price growth year-over-year: 100 percent
Bellevue passes Manhattan in housing prices!
Bellevue prices shot up a ridiculous 28% year-over-year, reaching a median price of $1.37 million for all sales of homes and condos in December. That’s nearly double that of Seattle. It also means tech-fueled Bellevue has now passed the borough of Manhattan in housing prices by nearly $100,000. In fact, of cities with more than 100,000 population, Bellevue (pop. 152,000) is now more expensive than all of them save for San Francisco and we expect that last record to fall sometime this summer with Bellevue claiming the absolute top spot as the most expensive city in America.