Property values in King County drop after peaking in 2022

Jun 1, 2023, 3:53 PM | Updated: 4:13 pm

King County property values...

Initial results from King County’s property valuation in 2023 show property values are still affected by the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are trending downwards after a record-breaking quarter last year. (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

Property values in King County are continuing on a downward trend.

Initial results from King County’s property valuation in 2023 show property values are still affected by the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID changed our lives, and it continues to impact the real estate market,“ said King County Assessor John Wilson in a prepared statement. “In 2021 and 2022, residential prices and values went through the roof due to a major imbalance between supply and demand. The housing market is still healthy in King County, but it cooled considerably in 2023, bringing values down.”

Values of commercial office buildings also dropped coincidingly, falling by 15% to 20% despite the slow transition of bringing workers back into the office with less remote work availability.

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“Generally, the commercial market has remained steady in recent years. But in 2023 we are seeing a significant drop in the value of large office spaces, presumably due to the shift away from in-office work,” Wilson continued. “COVID has changed how and where many of us work, and that is now showing up in property values.”

Amazon and Starbucks are just some of the companies issuing back-to-office mandates for their corporate employees. Other companies include Uber, Apple, Twitter, Snap, Citigroup, Disney, Google, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, IBM, Salesforce, and Meta.

This comes as a stark contrast to last year’s exponential rise in valuation, with home values increasing by 52% on the Sammamish plateau, approximately 45% in Redmond, Bellevue, and Kirkland, and north of 30% in Bothell, Kenmore, and North Bend.

“Elsewhere around the county, you’ve got in the city of Seattle, things are up just under 20%, Mercer Island 36%. Federal Way 26% It’s all over the place,” Wilson told The Gee & Ursula Show on KIRO Newsradio last year.

Now, just slightly more than 12 months later, King County saw the largest reductions in property values coming on the east side of Lake Washington. The Sammamish plateau also had values decrease upwards of 22% on average. The Queen Anne neighborhood faced an 8% average reduction in value.

Tax hikes to join booming property values in East King County

Each year, as required by law, county assessors — including Wilson — must appraise every commercial and residential parcel across the state of Washington. The values collected and estimated are used to calculate property taxes the following year.

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Property values in King County drop after peaking in 2022