Year-over-year home price growth in Seattle led the nation at 11.27 percent, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index, followed by Pacific coast neighbor Portland, Oregon at 9.66 percent. In January 2017, prices in Seattle continued to rise at just over the same rates seen in December 2016. Of the U.S. Pacific coast gateway cities (including San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Portland), Seattle’s year-to-date monthly price increase was outpaced only in San Diego; whose step up was the sharpest seen since last May.

With January’s result, Seattle has reaped an average monthly price increase of 0.94 percent for the past year; almost double the rate of 0.48 percent during the same period for the CSI 20-City Composite reflecting nationwide price trends. This result reflects the strong upward trend that Seattle homeowners enjoyed from February through June of 2016, when prices rose by one to nearly two-and-a-half percent per month. While the annual trend leaves homeowner equity a bit richer, the pressure is intensifying on renters to buy. Factoring in local salaries and the absence of a state income tax, home prices in the Puget Sound region remain competitive with those found in California’s comparable gateway cities.

Case-Shiller index changes year-to-date and monthly 2016: 20-City Index and four Pacific Coast Gateway metropolitan regions

Recently, The Seattle Times acknowledged that Seattle’s lead appears to be gaining as the nation’s hottest housing market witnessed it’s largest home price growth in three years. Interestingly, the same was also true in rents, which were also reported to have increased recently despite the added supply.

It should be noted that the S&P index speaks to the broader, tri-county region and focuses on the resale of single-family homes rather than condominiums or new construction of any kind. According to local experts, the market fundamentals discussed in this article are even stronger closer to urban job centers.