Seattle and Portland 2019 Single-Family Residential Market Review & Outlook

new house keys.jpg

Market Review & Outlook

As a residential developer hyper-focused on the urban infill markets of Seattle and Portland, Green Canopy continuously evaluates, and buys and sells property. The company also keeps a finger on the pulse of housing research and media reports. Combining boots on the ground with a bird’s eye view, Green Canopy’s team compiled a 2019 Market Review and Outlook in offering a unique perspective on the transitioning regional housing market.  

Following three years of outsized growth, Seattle and Portland single family residential (SFR) home values peaked in May 2018. As home price growth overshot per capita income growth and interest rates ticked slightly higher, more sellers entered the market, but some buyers hit the pause button. Homes sales volume subsequently slowed, listing inventory rose and a sharp but fairly shallow price correction pushed regional home values back toward market equilibrium. Slower sales volumes persisted over the remainder of 2018 and sellers were increasingly forced to reduce prices to complete sales. As the dust settled, Seattle and Portland median home values finished the year a few percentage points higher compared to 2017.

Looking forward, strong local economic and demographic fundamentals support the case for low to moderate home appreciation rates throughout 2019 for the Seattle and Portland housing markets. Key supporting factors include:

  • Continued regional net population growth

  • Low unemployment, healthy per capita income levels and payroll growth

  • Persistent multi-year constrained supply of home listings and new SFR housing starts

  • Moderating acquisition and construction costs for homebuilders