Nearly half of local millennials consider moving as Seattle-area home costs soar again

Greater Seattle once again had the biggest home-price increase in the nation, with home values soaring at nearly twice the national rate.

Big housing-cost increases are taking a heavy toll on millennials throughout the Seattle area, which has retained its title as the hottest housing market in the country.

A new poll from a local nonprofit finds that 45 percent of millennials in the Puget Sound region think they will have to move somewhere cheaper to afford the life they want, even though nearly all would prefer to stay in the area.

Local young adults ranked housing costs as their biggest concern, beating out problems that older adults find more troubling, like traffic and homelessness (although older adults said housing costs were one of their most important issues, as well).

Fastest-rising home prices compared with a year ago

1. Seattle +10.8%

2. Portland +10%

3. Denver +8.9%

4. Tampa +8.4%

5. Dallas +8.1%

Source: Case-Shiller home price index

It’s not hard to see why. Single-family home prices across Greater Seattle grew 10.8 percent in December, the most of any region in the country, according to the monthly Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday.

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The Seattle region has beaten Portland for the top spot for four straight months and has finished among the two top housing markets in the country for a full year. And after local home price increases had slowed for the past few months, they picked back up again slightly in December across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

Compared to just a month ago, home prices were up 0.6 percent, which may not sound like much, but it was triple the national average. This is normally the cheapest time of year for local real estate, but a record-low supply of homes has made this winter frustrating for buyers, with a typical price of $635,000 for a house in Seattle.

The home-price data comes as the new millennial…

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