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Washington real estate

Washington State’s Housing Market – Getting Sunnier by the Day

When you think of the job market over the past few years, you think of a downward trend. However, Washington state’s technology sector has been steadily growing. Since 2010, tech companies have added more than 15,000 new jobs to the Evergreen state. Tech jobs here are actually growing at a faster pace than they are in Silicon Valley!

That growth helped Washington state’s housing market stay afloat during the recession – and grow in the years since.

So, what does the housing market here look like now?

As you can probably guess, Seattle is the shining star when it comes to real estate in Washington. Even in the traditionally-slow winter months of late 2012, homes for sale in Seattle were selling at a feverish pace. Bidding wars became the name of the game, and the median sales price was well over $400,000.

As a result, realtors in Washington are chomping at the bit to see what the spring selling season brings. After all, that’s traditionally the busiest time of year here! If 2012’s momentum can keep up for a few more months, Seattle’s housing market could see a very prosperous 2013. (Although, it is fair to point out that, while prices here are on the rise, they’re still not as high as they were before the bubble burst.)

OK, so what about the rest of the state?

Realtors in Washington are, generally, having an easier time than their counterparts in other areas of the country because the Evergreen State’s unemployment picture is rosier than other areas’. And, since the tech industry is one of the few areas that is really booming these days, the people who work in Washington can count on keeping their jobs for awhile. Those steady paychecks mean that more people can feel comfortable buying new homes.

Tacoma isn’t content to settle for the typical wait-for-jobs-to-come-in-and-stimulate-housing cycle to take over. Instead, city leaders there have an action plan for jump-starting the local housing market in 2013. Among other things, they’ve got a downtown revitalization planned, development planned along the waterfront, plans to attract more investors to the Port of Tacoma, and ideas to add to the city’s arts scene – all of which will encourage people to move to the city and, thus, need to buy homes.

The Tri-Cities may not get as much publicity as some of the more populated-areas, but they’re getting some headlines of their own – specifically, for the gains they made in 2012 for sales prices, employment, and building activity. So, expect to see realtors in the Tri-Cities working hard in 2013, too!

Bottom line – the weather may be cold and damp for much of the year in Washington, but the housing market here is looking sunnier by the day!

Living in Washington

How do wide open skies, breathtaking mountain views, and wild Pacific Ocean beaches sound? That’s what Washington State offers its residents!

Nicknamed “The Evergreen State” for its abundant evergreen forests, both the state topography and the climate are divided by the Cascade Mountains. Western Washington is mild yet one of the rainiest regions in the world, with some areas receiving more than 200 inches of rain per year. In contrast, eastern Washington experiences cold winters, hot summers, and very little rainfall.

Before you grab your coat or your umbrella, let’s go over some of Washington’s fast facts:

  • What is the population of Washington?
  • The population of Washington is 6,897,012
  • What is the capital of Washington?
  • The capital of Washington is Olympia
  • What is the largest city in Washington?
  • The largest city is Seattle

About 60% of Washington’s residents live in the Seattle area – making it the core of business, technology, transportation, and industry along the Puget Sound. However, the entire state is known for aircraft and missile manufacturing, shipbuilding, metal products, machinery, chemicals, and food processing.

Washington’s rich forests help make the state a leading lumber producer in the country. It is also the number one producer in foods like apples, dry edible peas, hops, pears, lentils, red raspberries, and sweet cherries. If you love, fresh fish, there’s plenty of it here, too!

If you love to explore nature, Washington is the ideal spot for you. With three national parks and two national monuments, as well as nine national forests, 31 federally protected wildernesses, and 23 national wildlife refuges, there is something for everyone to discover here!

Some of the most popular sites include Mount Rainier National Park and the infamous Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. This 110,000-acre monument was reserved for research, education, and recreation following the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Another popular site that residents never get tired of is the Space Needle tower in Seattle. This landmark is 605 feet high at its highest point, and it features an observation deck, a gift shop, and a rotating restaurant. You can see the downtown Seattle skyline from the observation area, as well as the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay as well as neighboring islands.

This is the Census data for Washington

Population

Total population estimate for Washington (July 1) 2012
6,897,012
Total population change for Washington- April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012
2.6%

Age

Percentage of the population that's under 5 years old in Washington, 2011
6.5%
Percentage of the population that's under 18 years years old in Washington, 2011
23.2%
Percentage of the population that's 65 years and over Washington, 2011
12.7%

Gender

Percentage of the population that are females in Washington, 2011
50.1%

Race breakdown for Washington in percentages

White alone, 2011
82.0%
Black alone, 2011
3.8%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone,2011
1.8%
Asian alone, percent, 2011
7.5%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, 2011
0.7%
Two or more races, 2011
4.3%
Hispanic or Latino Origin, 2011
11.6%
Not Hispanic, White alone, 2011
72.1%

A little more about the residents of Washington

Percentage of residents who lived in the same house 1 year ago, 2007-2011
82.3%
Percent of residents who are foreign born 2007-2011
12.8%
Percent speaking a language other than English at home, 2007-2011
17.8%

Education

Percent high school graduates or higher for residents 25 years old and over in Washington, 2007-2011
89.8%
Percent with a bachelor's degree or higher for residents 25 years old and over in Washington, 2007-2011
31.4%

Veterans

Total number of Veterans living in Washington 2007-2011
601,507

Communting

The average travel time to work for workers in Washington (16 years and over not working at home), 2007-2011
25.5 mins

Real estate stats in Washington

Housing unit estimates, 2011
2,907,490
Owner-occupied housing units - percent of total occupied housing units, 2007-2011
64.4%
Housing units by units in structure - multi-dwelling structure, percent, 2007-2011
25.7%
Median value of specified owner-occupied housing units, 2007-2011
$283,200.00
Households, 2007-2011
2,602,568
Average household size, 2007-2011
2.50

Income

Per capita income for Washington in the past 12 months (in 2011 inflation-adjusted dollars), 2007-2011
$30,481.00
Median household income in Washington, 2007-2011
$58,890.00
Percentage of people living in poverty in Washington 2007-2011
12.5%

Business and commerce info for Washington

Private nonfarm establishments, 2010
175,914
Private nonfarm employment for pay period including March 12, 2010
2,326,731
Private nonfarm employment for pay period including March 12, 2010, percent change, 2000-2010
2.6%
Total number of businesses in Washington, 2007
551,340
Percentage of Black-owned businesses in Washington, 2007
NA
Percentage of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses in Washington , 2007
1.2%
Percentage of Asian-owned businesses in Washington, 2007
6.8%
Percentage of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses in Washington, 2007
0.2%
Percentage of Hispanic-owned businesses in Washington, 2007
3.2%
Percentage of Women-owned businesses in Washington, 2007
28.7%

Land size and population

Size of Washington in Square Miles, 2010
66,455.52 mi²
Population per square mile in Washington, 2010
101.2

Washington real estate