Exploring the Cheapest and Most Expensive Housing Markets in Washington

The cost of homes in the United States has increased significantly in the past few years. The median price of homes for sale increased by almost 50% from the second quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2022 due to increased demand and limited supply caused by the pandemic. The sale price of a typical American home has decreased in recent months, but housing prices are still very high compared to historical levels.

Home values have increased significantly, and the costs of borrowing for home buyers have also gone up. The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has been above 6% since September 2022, which is the highest it has been in almost 15 years. Many Americans cannot afford to buy homes because prices and mortgage rates are very high.

However, housing prices can be influenced by various factors that can be separated from overall national market trends, and one of these factors is location. The price of two nearly identical homes can differ by hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on their location. For people who want to buy a home but have a limited budget, there are certain cities in Washington state that are more affordable than others.

Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey, the average value of a home in Washington is $473,400. However, in the state, there are 51 cities, towns, and unincorporated communities with populations of at least 25,000. The median home values in these areas vary from less than $250,000 to over $1.6 million.

Home prices in local markets are usually based on what residents can afford. Many of the cheapest cities for homebuyers in Washington are not areas with high incomes. Out of the 51 cities in Washington that have data from the ACS, 30 of them have a median home value that is lower than the median value for the entire state. In almost all of these places, the average household earns less than the median household income of $90,325 for the entire state. Similarly, in Washington, the housing markets that are more expensive tend to have populations with higher earnings.

The cheapest and most expensive housing markets in Washington

Mercer Island

  • Median home value: $1,683,600
  • Homes worth over $1 million: 84.9%
  • Homeownership rate: 68.0%
  • Median household income: $190,985
  • Total population: 25,464


  • Median home value: $1,139,100
  • Homes worth over $1 million: 63.0%
  • Homeownership rate: 84.2%
  • Median household income: $215,047
  • Total population: 66,586


  • Median home value: $937,700
  • Homes worth over $1 million: 43.4%
  • Homeownership rate: 62.1%
  • Median household income: $135,608
  • Total population: 92,015

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  • Median home value: $879,900
  • Homes worth over $1 million: 36.4%
  • Homeownership rate: 44.5%
  • Median household income: $116,068
  • Total population: 734,603

Mill Creek East

  • Median home value: $769,600
  • Homes worth over $1 million: 14.3%
  • Homeownership rate: 84.9%
  • Median household income: $174,759
  • Total population: 25,302


  • Median home value: $711,500
  • Homes worth over $1 million: 15.0%
  • Homeownership rate: 66.5%
  • Median household income: $106,184
  • Total population: 58,673


  • Median home value: $603,000
  • Homes worth over $1 million: 11.5%
  • Homeownership rate: 79.9%
  • Median household income: $133,829
  • Total population: 26,387


  • Median home value: $576,800
  • Homes worth over $1 million: 9.9%
  • Homeownership rate: 53.6%
  • Median household income: $92,292
  • Total population: 105,355

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