It seems counterintuitive: During the worst bout of job losses since the Great Depression, home prices are rising quickly. And in Seattle the growth is faster than anywhere else in the country, save Phoenix – 7% year-over-year, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

The soaring prices are the result of a simple equation. Fewer homeowners than usual are listing their homes, either because they’re taking advantage of historically low mortgage rates to refinance or because they’re skeptical about their ability to find a new place to live in the current overheated market. Meanwhile, demand hasn’t let up — and in a surprising twist, plenty of it is coming from millennials and first-time homebuyers. Those pressures — low supply, huge demand — are squeezing prices to new heights.

Real estate reporter Katherine Khashimova Long talks about the changing market on the KUOW podcast Seattle Now. The discussion starts about two minutes into the podcast. Listen to it here.

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