Ten Most Competitive Greater Seattle Area Zip Codes in 2020

stately homes in a Tacoma neighborhood

Homes in the greater Seattle area sold throughout 2020 with a notable extended peak season after a dip caused by uncertainty at the start of the pandemic. Competition remained high across the region, and we were curious to see which areas saw the most competition in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. 

To find the most competitive zip codes, we used MLS data (through the second week of December 2020) to look at sale-to-list price ratio of single family homes. The percentage of the list price that a home actually sold for, this ratio indicates how strongly buyers want to live in an area as it measures their willingness to pay more than list price. A ratio over 100% tends to indicate that more than one buyer is offering on the same home, driving up the ratio.

How were sale prices affected in these competitive neighborhoods? Across all three counties, the median sale price in 2020 was $575,000, up 11.6% from $515,320 in 2019.

Three of the most competitive areas saw their median sale price increase by more than that 11.6% median: Mountlake Terrace, Hillsdale, and North Bend.

Within these competitive areas, where are buyers likely to see the best return on their investments? While median sale price speaks to the value of homes sold across the area, if we want to understand how the value of a particular home may change, median price per square foot is a more precise measure. 

The median price per square foot across King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties was $339 in 2020, up 10.10% from $308 in 2019.

By this measure, Northgate/Lake City, Hillsdale, Everett, and Kent bear particular mention. Not only are these four areas among the ten most competitive, they each saw price per square foot increase by more than the 10.10% median. 

Another data point to notice is the number of homes sold in an area. The total number across all three counties for 2020 was 49,706 homes, down 3.1% from 51,304 in 2019.

Seven of our top ten neighborhoods saw greater increases in volume than the median -3.1% for 2020: Northgate/Lake City, North Bend, Robinswood, North Ballard, Greenlake/Maple Leaf/Inverness, Mountlake Terrace, and Kent. 

Take a look at the number of homes sold in each of our top ten most competitive neighborhoods. 

See month-by-month Seattle market data and insights

Check out 3 ways Seattle homebuyers changed what they were looking for in 2020.

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