While much of the recent real-estate news hasn’t been glowing from a buyer’s perspective, findings put forward by industry giant Zillow have a massive silver lining for certain members of the military and veteran community who already own a home.
A hint: East Coasters need not apply.
Service members and veterans in Seattle saw a 13.6 percent rise in year-over-year median home value in April, per Zillow, posting the third-largest gain among large markets, behind San Jose and Las Vegas. That’s well beyond the 8.7 percent median increase nationwide, per the study, and far outpaces the Washington, D.C., area, which posted 4.5 percent median growth, second-worst behind Baltimore.
So sailors heading out of their Seattle-area homes for a change of station or other reasons may be in luck when it comes to selling their homes. But they might want to consider keeping their high-value property: Rents in the area went up 4.2 percent for the year to $2,208 per month, according to Zillow, outpacing the national average of 2.5 percent.
Despite that gain, Pacific Northwest renters are getting great deals compared with those in San Diego, including tens of thousands of service members and many more veterans. San Diego ranks fourth in the nation with a $2,549 average monthly rent, per Zillow, up 3.6 percent from last year.
Figures like this are way many Realtors and other industry experts say it may be worth holding onto your property in such markets even if military duty takes you somewhere else.
“You need to look at this as an investment instead of a home you’re going to end up in,” said Travis Winfield, a retired Navy senior chief who now runs a real estate office in San Diego.
“If you don’t have to sell your home, don’t sell your home. Especially in San Diego.”
Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.