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Builders Bulletin: Seattle-Area Multifamily Permits Surpass Pre-Covid Levels

Posted on Mar 9, 2022 in:
  • Builders Bulletin

Homing in on Our Region's Housing Statistics

By MBAKS Senior Policy Analyst Allison Butcher

The Seattle metropolitan area saw a significant increase in multifamily permit activity in 2021 compared to the previous year, led by King and Pierce counties—up 71% and 31% respectively. More than 22,000 multifamily permits were issued in the three-county metro area last year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels of fewer than 19,000 multifamily homes in 2018 and 2019. Single family permits were also up 24% in Pierce County year-over-year. Meanwhile, Snohomish County had a modest decrease in permits last year compared to 2020. King County ended the year down 8% for single family permits.

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Months' Supply of Housing Inventory

As of January 2022

icon showing a house for saleKing County had 0.49 months' supply of inventory (down from 0.92 months' of inventory a year ago).
icon showing a house for saleSnohomish County had 0.33 months' supply of inventory (down from 0.41 a year ago).

Many industry analysts consider a four-to-six-month level as an indicator of a healthy market.

Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service


Median Home Price

January 2022

icon showing a price tagThe median price of single-family homes and condos was $720,000 in King County and $686,792 in Snohomish County.
icon showing a price tagFor single-family homes only, the median price in King County rose 6.90%, from $725,000 a year ago to $775,000. The median price in Snohomish County rose 19.17%, from $599,990 to $715,000.
icon showing a price tagIn Seattle, the median price of single-family homes and condos was $729,000. The median price for single-family homes only was $790,000, a 0.19% decrease from $791,471 in January 2021.

Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service


Building Permit Activity



icon showing a hand holding a hammerThe seasonally adjusted Washington unemployment rate for January 2022 is 4.4%; for Seattle/Bellevue/Everett, it is 3.5%.
icon showing a hand holding a hammerConstruction employment in Washington increased by 500 between December 2021 and January 2022. Total construction employment is 228,100 statewide and 101,900 for Seattle/Bellevue/Everett specifically.

Source: Employment Security Department: WA Employment Estimates (Seasonally Adjusted), January 2022 and Bureau of Labor Statistics.



icon showing a group of peopleThe Puget Sound region's population as of April 1, 2021 was 4,330,400. Over the past year, the region added 66,200 people, as follows:

King County


Kitsap County


Pierce County


Snohomish County


Source: Office of Financial Management

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