Washington's Most Expensive Cities

Mary Pong,

Washington State is not only known for its scenic vistas and robust economy but also for its dynamic real estate markets. Cities like Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, and more represent some of the most desirable—and expensive—places to live in the United States. These cities attract a wide array of buyers, from tech professionals to international investors, all drawn by the unique combination of lifestyle, location, and long-term value these areas offer.


  • Cost of Living Considerations: Often leading as one of the priciest markets in the state, Bellevue boasts high-end homes that frequently run into the multimillion-dollar range.
  • Market Highlights: As a burgeoning tech hub and a city with a deep emphasis on community and educational excellence, Bellevue offers an ideal balance of suburban tranquility and urban convenience. With amenities like the Bellevue Botanical Garden, the Meydenbauer Center, and the Bellevue Arts Museum, the city caters to a culturally rich and active lifestyle.


  • Cost of Living Considerations: Seattle presents a dynamic market with wide price ranges depending on the neighborhood.
  • Market Highlights: Seattle's geographic diversity, from waterfront estates to historic homes in established neighborhoods, adds to its appeal. The city’s strong economic foundations, supported by industries ranging from technology to retail and global health, make it a hotspot for professionals. Moreover, Seattle's cultural vibrancy, exemplified by landmarks such as the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the Seattle Art Museum, enhances its residential allure.


  • Cost of Living Considerations: Kirkland's real estate is particularly valuable along the waterfront, where residents enjoy spectacular views of Lake Washington.
  • Market Highlights: Known for its inviting public spaces, including Marina Park and Juanita Bay Park, Kirkland offers residents a high quality of life with plenty of outdoor activities. Its downtown area is a blend of charming cafes, boutiques, and art galleries, making it attractive for those who appreciate a pedestrian-friendly lifestyle.

Mercer Island

  • Cost of Living Considerations: Exclusive and upscale, Mercer Island hosts some of the most luxurious properties in the region.
  • Market Highlights: The island is ideal for those seeking privacy and exclusivity. It’s uniquely positioned to offer serene living with all the benefits of proximity to major urban centers, connected via Interstate 90 to both Seattle and Bellevue.


  • Cost of Living Considerations: Known for its spacious homes and affluent neighborhoods, Sammamish has become increasingly popular, reflected in its rising property values.
  • Market Highlights: With its community-oriented design, Sammamish ranks highly for families. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, including Lake Sammamish and the surrounding forested areas, offering a plethora of recreational activities that are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.


  • Cost of Living Considerations: Redmond offers a range of property types, from contemporary condos to luxury estates, mirroring its diverse population.
  • Market Highlights: Often referred to as the "Bicycle Capital of the Northwest," Redmond combines its tech-centric modernity with a love for the outdoors. The city features extensive park systems and trail networks that appeal to residents who value a healthy, active lifestyle.


  • Cost of Living Considerations: Just northeast of Kirkland, Woodinville is famed for its wineries and lush landscapes, which have drawn a steady interest from high-end buyers looking for more pastoral settings close to urban amenities.
  • Market Highlights: Woodinville offers a retreat into a quieter, country-style living without sacrificing accessibility to the greater Seattle area. This makes it particularly appealing for those looking to escape the city's hustle while remaining connected to its conveniences.


  • Cost of Living Considerations: While Tacoma may not traditionally be seen as a luxury market, its real estate has seen a significant uptick in value due to its revitalized downtown and waterfront areas.
  • Market Highlights: Tacoma offers a more affordable entry point into the Washington real estate market without sacrificing cultural vibrancy or scenic views. Its renovated historic districts, thriving arts scene, and museums like the Museum of Glass create a compelling environment for buyers looking for value and lifestyle.

Bainbridge Island

  • Cost of Living Considerations: Known for its scenic beauty and higher-end real estate, Bainbridge Island is a short ferry ride from Seattle, offering an idyllic lifestyle with the conveniences of the city within easy reach.
  • Market Highlights: The island is characterized by its quiet, rural feel, extensive hiking trails, and a strong community-oriented atmosphere. Homes here often feature waterfront views and large, wooded lots, appealing to those seeking privacy and nature.

Gig Harbor

  • Cost of Living Considerations: Located across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from Tacoma, Gig Harbor's real estate market is noted for its upscale homes and stunning water views.
  • Market Highlights: Gig Harbor offers a blend of suburban and semi-rural living with the advantage of maritime activities. Its historic waterfront district, with boutiques, fine dining, and galleries, along with outdoor activities, makes it a desirable location for buyers looking for tranquility near urban centers.

Partner with Mary Pong Today

For those interested in exploring homes for sale in Bellevue, Seattle, or any of the other premium markets in Washington, contact Mary Pong today. Mary's extensive experience and deep understanding of the nuances of Washington's luxury real estate markets make her an invaluable resource for finding your dream home in this picturesque state.

*Header image courtesy of Mary Pong

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She is a reputable real estate professional who knows your neighborhood, understands the changing market, and utilizes a variety of tools and strategies to price your home at top dollar. Contact her today to find out how we can be of assistance to you!