Homes far from downtown Seattle appreciate faster than homes a short drive away

A neighborhood along Lake Washington in Seattle. A fall day in the Pacific Northwest.

MarkHatfield / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Home prices in the Seattle metro area reflect a new trend now apparent in many of the nation’s largest subways: homes in the heart of the city appreciate more slowly than homes far from the downtown area.

The Seattle homes that have gained the most in value over the past two years are located 51 to 60 minutes from downtown, according to a new study by Zillow. The value of these homes has increased an average of 39.5% since 2019, according to the study. In comparison, the value of homes located in downtown Seattle and up to 10 minutes away rose only 12.2% on average.

Zillow economic data analyst Nicole Bachaud said homebuyers are placing less importance on short commute times given the increase in remote working during the pandemic.

“Americans are looking for a combination of affordability and more space, whether it’s an outdoor space or an extra bedroom to turn into a home office,” Bachaud said in a press release on the study. “In expensive and dense markets, that usually means a house further from the city center, which is more palatable when you don’t need to move every day, if at all. “

This graph shows how, since 2019, the value of homes far from downtown Seattle has been increasing faster than homes in downtown Seattle.

This graph shows how, since 2019, the value of homes far from downtown Seattle has been increasing faster than homes in downtown Seattle.


The study found similar trends in other major subways in the United States, including New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Dallas. For example, a house with a 10-minute commute to work in New York City costs on average $ 73,673 less than in 2019, according to the study. A house in Boston with the same commute costs $ 21,175 less.

However, the study points out that the opposite occurs in some major metros. In places like Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, and Indianapolis, home values ​​tend to rise near the downtown area. A house within 10 minutes of downtown Detroit now costs $ 101,228 more than in 2019, and the price of living within 10 minutes of downtown Indianapolis has increased by $ 54,025 in during the same period, according to the study.

“While these two forces seem to oppose, they are actually two sides of the same coin: Americans are looking for larger, more affordable housing, as flexible work opportunities bring new expectations for what they want. want and what they need in a home, ”reports the Zillow report. noted. “As people seek affordability, they are willing to live with a longer commute if they can save on housing costs. And cheaper city centers are gaining popularity over more expensive nearby suburbs. “