Seattle property values: Catching up with San Francisco?

Feb 5, 2013

What's ahead for Seattle when it comes to property values and density? Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar tell's KPLU's John Maynard that San Francisco may have some of the answers.

San Francisco became a city about 30 years before Seattle. It also shares many of Seattle's physical characteristics - it's hilly and it has a salt water port. That makes it a perfect city to compare Seattle to, says Hagar.

"For years, I've tracked San Francisco's property values and they would be $200,000 higher than Seattle. I used to say it will be 20-30 years before Seattle's prices catch up but lately I've been proven wrong. Now I say it will be about 10 years for us to catch up."

Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard that both San Francisco and Seattle are recovering from the economic downturn better than most cities. They also continue to see population growth. That makes for a dynamic housing market.

"The Seattle housing market is as tight as I've ever seen it. Currently, we have less than a 30-day supply of houses. "

Hagar says we can learn a lot from San Francisco, especially when it comes to viable public transportation. Seattle's growth doesn't look like it's slowing down any time soon, he says, so besides adding density and building up, finding ways to move people in and out of  our major metropolitan area where many of our jobs are is key.  How long it will take Seattle and the surrounding counties to catch up to San Francisco in that regard is still an open question. Likely not 10 years, like the property values.