The price of the typical single-family house across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties has now risen 53 percent in just four years.
Seattle-area home prices are continuing their torrid pace, setting another record and rising faster than any major city other than Portland, new data shows.
The monthly S&P/Case-Shiller Index released Tuesday showed single-family house prices across the Seattle metro area rose 10.7 percent in April compared with a year ago, about the same as the annual rise reported in each of the last two months. That is more than double the national average growth rate of 5 percent.
Seattle’s surge was second-highest among major cities for the third straight month, again behind Portland, where prices gained 12.3 percent. Denver was again third, followed by Dallas, San Francisco and Tampa, while the smallest growth among the 20 metro areas covered in the report was in Washington, D.C., New York and Cleveland.
Cities with fastest-rising home prices in April compared with a year ago
1. Portland: +12.3%
2. Seattle: +10.7%
3. Denver: +9.5%
4. Dallas: +8.6%
5. (tie) San Francisco, Tampa: +7.8%
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices
But looking just at how home values have risen compared to a month ago, Seattle tops the charts at 2.1 percent growth, just ahead of Chicago and Minneapolis. Still, that’s down from the 2.4 percent monthly price rise reported for Seattle last month, which also led the nation.
Altogether, the price to buy a house in Seattle has soared an amazing 53 percent in the last four years, according to Case-Shiller.
Nationally, home prices are still below their pre-recession peak. But last month, Case-Shiller reported that the Seattle region had for the first time surpassed its housing price high-point from 2007. Now, that record has already been broken, and at this rate the new one probably won’t last long, either: Local home prices have gone up for 15 straight months.
Going back a quarter-century, the Seattle area has seen a double-digit percentage rise in home prices only three times: During the dot-com boom in the late ‘90s, the mortgage bubble in the middle of the last decade and in the current surge that dates back a few years.
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Changes in home prices in Seattle have traditionally aligned fairly closely with national trends, but lately the Seattle area has surged ahead of the rest of the country. So far this year, home prices across the Seattle area have soared at twice the national rate.
And while much of the gains nationally are confined to cheaper homes, prices are up double-digits in Seattle across the board, from starter homes to luxury properties.
The Case-Shiller index, which covers single-family homes in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, does not include actual price numbers. But the latest data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows the median house sale price in King County has risen to $560,000 from $481,000 a year ago; to $390,000 from $350,000 a year ago in Snohomish County; and to $275,000 from $255,000 in Pierce County.
Although the Seattle metro area continues to drive housing cost growth throughout the state, Washington has seen home prices grow faster than any other state in the country for three straight months.
On Monday, Black Knight Financial Services reported Seattle and Walla Walla were tied for the top metro area in the country for home price increases. The Mount Vernon and Olympia metro areas also made the top 10.
Along with a growing economy and rising demand from homebuyers, the main ongoing cause of the cost surge is the severe shortage of homes on the market. Seattle has the smallest supply of houses relative to demand of any metro area in the country.