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caption: A new, larger house goes up alongside an older home in Seattle.
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A new, larger house goes up alongside an older home in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Why King County's home values shot up even further amid a pandemic

If you’re a homeowner in King County, get ready for sticker shock. Property assessments are arriving in the mail, and residential values have risen in many areas. The pandemic played a role.

King County Assessor John Wilson says the past year caused many people to hunker down. They might have thought of moving, but chose to wait things out. People stayed put and there was no new housing construction. That led to low inventory.

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“Then there were others who said, ‘You know what, I can work from home now,’” Wilson said. “I don’t have to be in downtown Seattle or right in Bellevue, and I’d like to be a little farther.”

Farther and maybe with some acreage. The few homes that were on the market got snatched up, fast, and often above the asking price.

Wilson says values have gone up in eastern parts of King County, areas considered more affordable. In Skyway, for example, the median residential value went up 13%. In Enumclaw, it rose by 21%.