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White Center, Burien could be next housing hot spots in Puget Sound

Could Burien be one of the next biggest destinations for Puget Sound home buyers? (City of Burien, Facebook)

A short-lived slowdown on Puget Sound housing prices came to abrupt close at the end of 2019. In 2020, though, there are still areas where home buyers can get in on the ground floor.

Why Puget Sound millennials are finally looking to buy homes

“I think there’s other other markets out there,” Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner told Seattle’s Morning News on KIRO Radio. “White Center is one. Burien I think has got more legs; Mount Baker as well, [and] parts of Rainier Valley. I think these are some which still have decent proximity to job centers.”

According to Redfin, the average sale price of a home in Seattle over the last month is roughly $683,000, while costing buyers over $440 in sale price per square foot — essentially, it’s costing more and more money to buy smaller and smaller houses.

Meanwhile in White Center — situated in unincorporated King County directly between West Seattle and Burien — the average home over the last month sold for $493,000, and cost just $281 in sale price per square foot.

That’s had buyers flocking to the growing suburban locale, with average home sale prices in White Center skyrocketing 11.6 percent over the last year.

Burien — where the average home sold for $482,000 over the last month — has seen a similar boom in hopeful home buyers, sporting an 18.7 percent increase in average sale price in the last year.

As for how the average millennial can afford to take advantage of this, Gardner cites data that says 54 percent of millennial home buyers are married, with an average down payment of 17 percent.

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“You’ve got to think about it this way: All of the sudden, you’re bringing this double income, a double set of savings, and putting 17 percent down,” he noted.

In 2020, Gardner sees Puget Sound’s housing prices continuing skyward, predicting an almost 7 percent increase in King County in the next year, over 7 percent in Snohomish County, and just over 8 percent in Pierce County.

Listen to the Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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