Although Washington is attractive to seniors and retirees with no income tax it is also popular among young people coming into the state for high paying jobs across a wide number of fields. The Tri-Cities and Vancouver remain popular for both retired and working people.
Retirees looking for that one level dream home may find themselves in competition with up and coming youngsters looking the jump into the is hot market with sub 3% mortgages available for solid borrowers. Retirees over the age of 55 can sometimes find communities design for older residents and may find less competition from working persons. But those communities are often sought after as well by the millions of aging boomers looking to downsize and slow the pace.
In any case retirees thinking about paying cash for a house may want to revisit the notion of a loan. Borrowing a few hundred grand at less than 3% is not a bad deal at all.