SEATTLE -- The number of million-dollar home sales across King County, Wash., soared 71 percent last year, as a price point once reserved for mansions and waterfront estates expanded to include ordinary houses in attractive neighborhoods and even some upscale homes in more affordable spots.
In 2016, nearly 2,900 homes sold for at least $1 million in the county, setting a record at the time.
Last year far exceeded that with a new benchmark: Million-dollar transactions jumped to more than 4,900, according to a new year-end home sales report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
Put another way, 1 in every 5 or 6 homes across the county topped $1 million last year, up from about 1 in 10 the year before.
Rising prices are changing how prospective buyers and sellers are talking about homes.
"Clients are now looking for $900,000 to $1 million fixer-uppers in popular neighborhoods," said Matt van Winkle, a RE/MAX broker in Seattle. Luxury homes are now quantified as being above $1.5 million, he added.
Where are these million-dollar homes? They're still most common in pricey Eastside suburbs and along the waterfront, but increasingly they're creeping into other neighborhoods that have traditionally been cheaper.
The areas in the county to the north and south of Seattle clocked in with 221 million-dollar home sales, about two-and-a-half times as many as a year prior. Places like Renton and Burien had dozens, and there were even some in Kent, Federal Way and Enumclaw.
Still, the Eastside remains the land of the luxury home -- overall, 38 percent of homes sold there hit seven figures, up from 22 percent the year before. The area east of Lake Sammamish led the way with more than 600 million-dollar home sales, followed by the Eastside area south of Interstate 90, West Bellevue and Kirkland-Bridle Trails.
"Given the strength of the Eastside's employment sector and the quality of its school districts, we expect these trends to continue in 2018," said Thadine Bak, principal managing broker of the Coldwell Banker Bain office in Bellevue.