I am proud to present the Market Report: Puget Sound Real Estate Trends & 2015 Year in Review, a comprehensive look at the 2015 real estate market in an exploration of seven key counties of Western Washington: King, Snohomish, Kitsap, Pierce, Jefferson and Island counties, as well as 29 neighborhoods for our current and prospective clients. The report touches on macroeconomic trends, the primary demand drivers influencing our regional real estate market in addition to micro markets that vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood.
The year 2015 witnessed white-hot real estate conditions throughout the Puget Sound not seen since before the Great Recession. Prices of real estate throughout the Puget Sound catapulted higher in 2015, the result of tight supply and an influx of new buyers. A similar trajectory is expected in 2016: expanding demand, anemic supply and developers playing catch up to increasing homeownership levels.
The Puget Sound region has taken a different path from other boomtowns in North America whose economies are based on resource extraction (e.g., oil), financial intermediation, or entertainment. Seattle’s aerospace industry has gradually yielded its eminence to the service expansion and new product development cycles of the information tech industry and their secondary employment effects on IT contractors, food & beverage businesses, and real estate developers.
Besides drawing new residents domestically from other U.S. states, the Puget Sound benefits from the state’s importance as a gateway to trade with Asia, as well as from international air travel to and from Sea-Tac International Airport. The Sound’s proximity to international communities across the broader region from Vancouver, British Columbia to Los Angeles and San Diego is also a factor, as is the superior quality of life in the region and its comparative affordability in respect to those other markets. The international eminence that results from these features of our local economy has allowed the area to attract growing numbers of immigrants from overseas and recognition as a global gateway city.