S&P/Case-Shiller recently released their home price index, which ranks Seattle as the hottest housing market in the country, a title it has now held for a staggering twelve consecutive months. As Seattle Times reports, “the median price of a home across the Seattle metro area has now soared 80 percent since bottoming out five years ago, and its up 20 percent over the old pre-bubble peak a decade ago.” While other cities are experiencing home price growth that is reportedly “slightly or moderately above average,” prices in Seattle “are increasing nearly three times as fast as the historical average” with a rate that more than doubles the nation’s 6.1 percent growth rate.
Given the nearly 5 percentage point difference between the Emerald City and second place Las Vegas’ 8.6 percent growth, Rosenberg writes that Seattle’s reign isn’t likely to end anytime soon. He does admit, however, that the region is showing “some slight cooling,” as the month-over-month growth slowed to “just 0.2 percent, among the lowest rates in the country and the slowest since last winter.” This seasonal slowdown is typical for Seattle, “but the Case-Shiller data show the mini-slowdown is happening only for luxury homes and in expensive neighborhoods" as "prices for cheaper homes, which are generally in outlying suburbs, are rising at their fastest rate in more than three years.”
The factors contributing to Seattle’s dominance are the prevalence of high paying tech jobs which are drawing thousands of new residents to the area, a shortage of housing inventory which is contributing to fierce buyer competition, and soaring rents that are pushing many residents into a desire for homeownership.
Want a deeper look at current market trends and fundamentals in the Puget Sound region? Dive into market reports from the third quarter of 2017 here.