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Maple Valley Rambler living room from view of the dining room

Why Are So Many People Moving to South King County?

Why Are So Many People Moving to South King County?

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Why are so many people moving to South King County? Team Diva Real Estate Agent Lindsy Russell-Mitchell breaks down the reasons why.

Why are so many people moving to South King County? Many people have moved here due to rising housing costs. Rising costs—especially in Seattle—are a direct result of the gentrification of neighborhoods like the Central District as well as communities in Southeast Seattle. Many people also move to South King County because they would like to have more space, both inside and out. There are more opportunities here to buy homes on more land where you have space for gardening and raising animals. There are several factors as to why so many people are moving to South King County, and these are just a few of them! 

What Can You Buy in the Major Areas in South King County?

The majority of cities in King County are still affordable in comparison to housing prices in Seattle, Bellevue, and areas around Redmond. Here is a quick breakdown of the average price it costs to buy a detached single-family home right now in a few popular South King County cities: 

  • In Burien, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $940,000
  • In Maple Valley, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $930,000
  • In Renton, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $925,000
  • In Kent, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $800,000
  • In Auburn, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $800,000
  • In Tukwila, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $785,000

And, just a note: Many of the higher-priced homes included in these numbers are large new construction homes. You can easily find homes at the $600,000 price point in all of these suburban cities in South King County. 


Why Are So Many People Moving to South King County?

I Love Renton Sign in Downtown Renton, WA

Our team has been chatting with Lindsy about her family and her own real estate legacy. The other day, someone asked me “Why are so many people moving to South King County? Lindsy’s own family have chosen to move from the Central District to South King County. Here is what she had to say about it.

What Are a Few of the Reasons That People Buy Homes in South King County According to Lindsy? 

Lindsy Russell-Mitchell in her new listing in Maple Valley.

Lindsy – As many of you know, my family goes back three generations in the Central District. And many of my family members (like my dad, who now lives in Auburn) have moved to various cities in South King County. Many have moved because of the rising housing costs which are a direct result of gentrification in the Central District and Southeast Seattle. And others moved because they just needed more space. 

My seller clients are another great example of why some people move to South King County. A couple of years ago, these Diva Dwellers contacted Team Diva because they were done with apartment living, and they really wanted a yard for their sweet dogs. They were priced out of Seattle, so they started to look for a home in the surrounding areas of Seattle, which included South King County. My clients wanted to be accessible to Seattle, but still have peace and quiet (and room for their dogs!). And this is what led us to Maple Valley. 

Maple Valley is just one example of a South King County city that offers all of these things—more space, more quiet, and close proximity to Seattle. People love having the opportunity to own a home on more land, which provides possibilities for hobbies like gardening and raising animals. Grow the epic garden you’ve always wanted, raise chickens and goats, or even buy a horse property where you can live out your equestrian dreams! Oh… and did I mention how quiet and peaceful it is?!

What Percentage of People Are Actually Relocating to South King County? 

Screen shot of the Seattle Times' Article "Seattle residents are flocking to South King County during COVID pandemic."

Back in the Spring of 2021, The Seattle Times published “Seattle residents are flocking to South King County during COVID pandemic.” In this article, they calculated that had seen as high as a 43% increase in population in the last decade.

  • Kent has seen a 43% increase in population since 2010
  • Auburn has had almost 16% of growth in the last nine years.
  • Maple Valley saw an increase of 16.9% between 2019 to 2020.

Check out the whole article and it will give you a good idea of what is happening in this market.

What Can You Buy in the Major Areas in South King County?

South Hill Kent Home Exterior view of the front of the house.

The majority of the cities in South King County are still affordable compared to Seattle, Bellevue, and areas around Redmond. Here is a quick breakdown of the average price to buy a detached single-family home in several South King County cities right now: 

  • In Burien, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $940,000
  • In Maple Valley, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $930,000
  • In Renton, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $925,000
  • In Kent, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $800,000
  • In Auburn, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $800,000
  • In Tukwila, the average cost to buy a detached single-family home is $785,000

It’s also important to note that you can easily find homes in the $600,000 price range in all of these suburban cities in South King County. Many of the higher-priced homes in these areas are large new construction homes. 

Check Out Why We Are Crushing on this Home in Maple Valley

If you’re considering a move to South King County, this Maple Valley home priced at $600,000 is the perfect starter home. Maple Valley is just a smidge outside of Kent and Auburn, and my clients bought it a couple of years ago. They fell in love with the big yard, and the garage for all of their projects, for example. This mid-century rambler is the perfect example of the type of home that folx are looking for when considering moving to South King county. Locals also love all of the outdoor attractions there are in the area. Lake Wilderness and the Cedar River Bike Trail are a couple of fun spots. You also have amazing views of mountains and rolling hills. This home even has crystal-clean water that comes from an underground well at very little cost to the owner. How cool is that?! 

Here is a link to the listing >

What Does the Future Hold for For this Area?

Downtown Kent's historic area.
Part of Downtown Kent’s Classic Vibe

Seattle is continuing to see a lot of people relocating here from the Bay Area and other places from across the nation. And we are going to see more relocation of traditional communities to places like South King County. We think that the county and regional transportation authorities need to make sure there are easy bus and other transit options for this growing community, many of whom have been displaced from transit-friendly places like the Central District. 


Why Are So Many People Moving to South King County? Now You Know! 

Des Moines Overlook Park and Recreation Sign view of the Puget Sound

Why are so many people moving to South King County? Many people have moved to this area due to rising housing costs. Rising costs (especially in Seattle) are a direct result of gentrification, which has especially affected neighborhoods like the Central District and many communities in Southeast Seattle. Many people also decide to move to South King County because they would like to have more space both inside and out. You’ll find more opportunities to buy homes on more land here, which is perfect for gardening and raising animals. There are many factors as to why people are moving to South King County, and these are just a few factors. 

Check out our South King County regional guides for a few of the communities we mentioned above:

We are here to help. Our team understands that this process can take a year or two. And we are more than willing to give you a personalized plan to get the ball rolling. Feel free to contact us directly at thediva@teamedivarealestate.com or call/text 206-271-0264.

Chavi Hohm

Chavi Hohm

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