Seattle neighborhoods left off Redfin’s list of hottest housing markets as San Jose leads the way

Redfin’s predictions for the hottest neighborhoods for home sales in 2018 all have something in common. (Redfin Photo)

Redfin is out with its latest predictions for the nation’s hottest housing markets this year, and somewhat surprisingly, Seattle didn’t show up on the list.

All 10 of Redfin’s hottest neighborhoods for home sales in 2018 are in the San Francisco Bay Area, with nine in and around San Jose, as the tech industry continues to juice the real estate scene despite extremely high prices and low inventory of available homes. Each of those 10 neighborhoods sport median sale prices above $1 million. In all but one market, at least 80 percent of sale prices exceeded their original list prices last month.

In a similar list from Redfin mid last year, Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood topped a prediction of the hottest housing markets for the second half of 2017. Redfin makes its predictions by examining recent growth in listing page views and favorites on its site.

In the past few years, reports indicated that tech workers wanted out of San Francisco because of its sky-high housing costs. But it turns out they would rather move a few miles down the road near San Jose than go to less expensive markets.

“While the San Francisco peninsula has traditionally been the hottest of the hot places, we’re seeing it become unaffordable for even the tech giants that helped create its demand in the first place,” Redfin Silicon Valley agent Kalena Masching said in a statement. “The result has been a tech-worker migration to the South Bay charged by people looking for relative affordability, highly rated schools, short commutes and access to jobs.”

Apparently what passes for “relative affordability” these days is a median sale price of $1,005,000, the lowest among the top 10 neighborhoods in San Jose’s Blacow area.

A First Hill Streetcar in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle. (Flickr Photo / Joe A. Kunzler)

Seattle did make another list within the report: the “hottest neighborhoods within reach.” These are the most desirable areas with prices under the nationwide median of $286,700. The Riverview neighborhood in Kent, Wash., about 20 miles south of Seattle, came in third on that list, behind a pair of Washington D.C. area neighborhoods.

“Riverview is one of the more affordable options in Seattle that has easy access to I-5 and Highway 99,” said Redfin Seattle agent Thomas Hobbs Jr. “Being that it’s a bit outside of the city, it has lots of beautiful green space nearby. Grandview Off-Leash Dog Park covers 34 acres and is a fantastic place for people to walk their dogs, and Russell Woods Park and Riverfront Park are both also a quick drive away.”

Redfin also broke out the hottest neighborhoods in the nation’s biggest metro areas. The three top hottest neighborhoods in Seattle were First Hill and the Central District — both east of downtown — and Cedar Park in the northeast edge of Seattle.

Seattle has been the fastest-growing market for home prices for months now, with consistent double-digit year-over-year gains. That no Seattle neighborhoods made the list shows just how intense the housing market is down in the San Francisco Bay Area. Seattle faces similar issues of low inventory of affordable homes and a crush of well-heeled techies moving to the area due to growth from tech giants like Amazon. And while home prices continue to rise, apartment rent growth is starting to taper off a bit. Rents actually dropped in the fourth quarter, as thousands of new units built in recent years are absorbed into the market.