It’s a dubious honor that the metro area has held for 19 months, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data released Tuesday.
Seattle continues to lead the nation’s major cities in climbing home prices, a dubious honor that the metro area has held for 19 months.
Seattle’s 13 percent year-over-year increase in median home prices in March was trailed by Las Vegas with a 12.4 percent increase and San Francisco with an 11.3 percent increase, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data released Tuesday.
The 19-month run is unmatched since San Francisco’s home prices outpaced all others for 20 months during the dot-com boom, from 1999 to 2001.
What you need to know
Prices in the top 20 metro areas rose by an average 6.8 percent over the 12 months ending in March, while a broader index of prices nationwide rose 6.5 percent — exactly half of Seattle’s scorching pace.
Seattle is hardly alone in experiencing strong home demand and short supply, though. Nationally, buyers are paying a premium for ownership as the number of homes up for sale declines while mortgage rates rise.
S&P reports that its 20-city index is now slightly higher than its 2006 peak, before the housing market and the economy crashed. Seattle crossed that threshold in February, S&P said last month.
And 12 of the 20 cities logged price increases greater than in the previous monthly report.
Those soaring prices have been offset by historically low mortgage rates in recent years, but the average 30-year mortgage rate has shot up to a seven-year high of 4.66 percent, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.
That is putting homeownership out of reach for an increasing number of Americans.
Part of the reason that prices are moving higher, according to data from the National Association of Realtors, is the declining number of listings on an annual basis for the past three years. Over the past 12 months, the number of sales listings has dropped 6.3 percent.
Buyers, concerned about being priced out of the market by rising mortgage rates, are aggressively hunting for homes even with listings so sparse.
“Until inventories increase faster than sales, or the economy slows significantly, home prices are likely to continue rising,” said David Blitzer, a managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices.