Booming Seattle maintains title as nation’s hottest housing market for 8th month in a row

Seattle home prices continue their rapid ascent. (Flickr Photo / Harold Hollingsworth )

Home values in Seattle continued their steady ascent in April, according to the latest Case-Shiller national home price report. Seattle’s residential real estate saw a 12.9 percent year-over-year price increase, making it the nation’s fastest-growing city for home prices for the eighth month in a row.

Seattle isn’t the only Northwest city with a red-hot housing market. Portland’s home prices are the second fastest-growing in the country, with year-over-year gains of 9.3 percent in April.

Both Seattle and Portland far outpaced national home value increases which saw an annual gain of 5.5 percent in April.

Seattle homebuyers can cross their fingers for a summer slowdown, but more recent data from Zillow suggests the rapid gains will continue. The real estate database (which also happens to be based in Seattle) released a report for May that showed home prices in Seattle proper increasing by 14.5 percent year-over-year. In the broader Seattle metro region, they rose 12.7 percent.

High demand and low inventory are responsible for home price hikes across the country, Case-Shiller says. In Seattle, the trend is exacerbated by a population boom fueled by rapid job growth in technology and other industries. The Emerald City’s population is the fastest-growing in the country, according to U.S. Census data crunched by The Seattle Times.

Despite countless cranes that dot the Seattle skyline, real estate development has not been able to keep up with the city’s breakneck population gains. Seattle had 6,030 homes on the market in May, according to Zillow. That’s 22.2 percent fewer homes than were on the market in April of last year.

With mortgage rates hovering at about 4 percent and high-paying tech jobs that make for a comfortable house-hunting budget, it’s not hard to see why Seattle’s housing market has become so competitive.