This condo on Norton Avenue in Everett was sold Friday. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

This condo on Norton Avenue in Everett was sold Friday. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Snohomish County home values soar in latest assessment

Lack of affordable housing put the squeeze on buyers and drove up home prices across Snohomish County.

EVERETT — Home prices in Snohomish County took a big leap in 2020 as the limited housing supply stoked major demand.

Countywide, assessed home values are up 11%, according to the Jan. 1 evaluation from the county assessor’s office — one of the highest annual increases in the past decade.

Meanwhile, growth in value of commercial properties slowed, with a 3% increase from last year.

On Friday, the assessor’s office will begin sending homeowners their updated assessed values. The new assessments will apply to property taxes in 2022.

This year’s jump in growth for residential properties is the fourth-highest the county has seen since 2012. The 3% rise for commercial properties is the second-lowest in the same span.

The increase in home prices, Snohomish County Assessor Linda Hjelle said, partially stems from a large pool of buyers competing for a limited supply of affordable housing.

And the squeeze on supply hasn’t slowed.

According to Redfin, a real estate listing website, the average home for sale in Everett is sold within a week. And some are going for more than $100,000 above the asking price, records show.

That competition is also pushing prospective homeowners to areas of the county where they can stretch their dollars further, causing values countywide to rise.

Property values in all but two of the county’s school districts — Edmonds and Mukilteo — saw 9% to 12% increases in the latest evaluation.

“It’s the whole county that’s feeling the pressure,” Hjelle said.

At 12.2%, the highest jump was within the borders of the Northshore School District, which covers areas of Bothell and Woodinville.

Properties in the Mukilteo School District recorded the lowest growth in value, at 5.58%.

In total, the countywide property valuation grew 9%, bringing the estimated value of all property in Snohomish County to more than $181 billion.

But despite the increase in overall home values, individual property tax rates vary across the county, depending on levies and other measures approved by voters.

For years, county officials have voiced concern over a lack of affordable housing.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already difficult situation, and many families across the region are experiencing housing insecurity for the first time,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said in a statement. “We will continue to work with our public and private-sector partners on opportunities to provide additional affordable housing at all levels of need. This will be one of the areas of attention as we build our pandemic recovery efforts.”

In 2020, the Housing Affordability Regional Taskforce released a five-year plan to boost the supply of cheaper places to live.

Doing so would require increased density and incentives for builders, the county report said.

But selling those policies to the public sometimes draws the ire of nearby single-family neighborhoods, where residents worry what low-income housing will do to their own property values.

“The reason the executive joined with (Lynnwood) Mayor (Nicola) Smith and other local electeds on the Housing Affordability Regional Taskforce was to find consensus on issues that they all can address,” county spokesperson Kent Patton said in an email. “Of course, there will be subtle differences locally, but the first step in finding solutions is getting everyone to agree that there is a problem and then highlighting possible solutions.”

The new 2021 assessed values for all county properties are available at

Assessments for individual properties can vary greatly depending on characteristics such as location, property type, zoning, age and condition.

Before you file an appeal, Hjelle says, owners should check the assessor’s site to ensure the county’s data for the property is correct, and call the county office at 425-388-6555 for homes and 425-338-3390 for commercial properties.

And there are programs available for tax relief.

If you own and occupy a residence or mobile home, and were 61 or older by Dec. 31, 2020, or were retired because of disability in 2020, you may qualify for a property tax reduction.

To qualify for either exemption, your total household income, including social security and disability payments, must be $55,743 or less in 2021 to qualify for a reduction on your 2022 property taxes.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

Talk to us

More in Local News

In this May 2020 photo, garbage cans line a residential street on trash pickup day in Mukilteo. In November, voters will weigh in on whether the city should encourage more high density housing. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Mukilteo asks for input on housing density, and it’s complicated

Here’s a guide to what voters should know about the advisory ballot measure. What does it actually do?

Community Transit is preparing to shift commuter buses that go to the University of Washington in Seattle to connect with Link light rail in Northgate next year. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Union: Community Transit vaccine mandate puts jobs in ‘jeopardy’

Meanwhile, at King County Metro, a similar mandate has significantly boosted vaccination rates.

Police: Man showed up to ex-wife’s Everett home, stabbed ex-roommate

The suspect, 47, of Seattle, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree assault.

Lake Stevens worker’s protection order granted against boss

The worker and his boss, Public Works Director Eric Durpos, were put on leave for an incident at a grievance meeting.

Top row: Vanessa Edwards (left) and Ray Sheldon Jr. Bottom row (from left): Connor Krebbs, Wade Rinehardt and Katie Jackson. (Not pictured: Sherry Weersing)
After year of tumult, new faces vie for Marysville School Board

One candidate is concerned about “Critical Race Theory.” Others see more pressing issues.

2 years later, charges filed in ‘unusual’ deadly crash in Everett

Dakotah Allett, 27, crashed into two vehicles on the side of I-5, leaving one woman dead, the new charges say.

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste, center, greets a new trooper during a graduation ceremony, as Gov. Jay Inslee looks on in the Rotunda at the Capitol Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Olympia, Wash. The class of 31 troopers completed more than 1,000 hours of training and will now work for the WSP across the state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Rather than get vaccine, nearly 2,000 state workers lose jobs

Ten troopers north of Seattle, 54 Monroe prison workers and hundreds more across the state refused the governor’s mandate.

Deena Jones gets a physical by Briana Brewer during one of her twice weekly checkups Thursday morning at UW Medicine in Seattle on September 30, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Her brother offered a kidney, and she got one, with a twist

Deena Jones’ nephew died in a random knife attack. His death could keep the Arlington pastor alive for decades.

Man injured in Marysville gas station shooting

People in two vehicles reportedly opened fire Monday morning. Detectives were seeking suspect information.

Most Read