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How the COVID-19 vaccine could fuel Seattle's hot real estate market

Zillow experts say the vaccine rollout could add fuel to an already steaming hot real estate market – especially in western Washington.

SEATTLE — Seattle is already a hot real estate market, and experts are saying the COVID-19 vaccine could cause it to boil over. Home prices are climbing at the fastest pace seen in nearly seven years.

In Seattle, home prices climbed 13.6% in December from the year prior, according to the recent S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index.

Economists say the vaccine rollout could add fuel to an already steaming hot real estate market – especially in western Washington.

”I think for buyers, it's certainly welcome news,” said Amanda Pendleton, a Zillow home trends expert. 

The news brings relief as many homeowners have held off listing their homes, causing buyers to battle it out for a piece of the pie.

"The top two reasons why homeowners said that they weren't listing their homes for sale is because of life uncertainty and financial uncertainty,” said Pendleton. 

Out of 14 million homeowners surveyed by Zillow, 70% say they’d feel comfortable moving to a new home as more people get the vaccine. 

Four out of five homeowners who said the vaccine would impact their decision to sell, say they expect it to make them more likely to move.

”It's giving them the confidence to put their homes on the market to list them for sale, where they may have been sitting on the sidelines during the pandemic,” said Pendleton. 

Pendleton said home sales in Seattle are expected to climb 25% over last year. A boost in seller confidence and increased inventory could help buyers looking for a deal.

"I don't think that we're gonna see home prices fall, but we could see home price growth start to moderate, so maybe the prices aren't climbing as quickly as they have been over the past year,” said Pendleton. 

Pendleton is a former KING 5 News anchor.