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Seattle has the third-highest home value appreciation and the highest rent appreciation, year over year, among the 35 largest housing markets in the United States, according to Zillow’s monthly reports for September.

Median home value rose 11 percent in Seattle and surpassed $400,000 for the first time to reach $401,100, the report said.

Portland saw the biggest year-over-year increase with a nearly 15 percent spike, for a median home value of $342,100. Dallas was the second highest, with an 11.9 percent increase.

U.S. home values are up 5.5 percent over the past year according to the Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. Here are the top five markets:

  • Portland: 14.6 percent
  • Dallas-Fort Worth: 11.9 percent
  • Seattle: 11.4 percent
  • Denver: 10.4 percent
  • Tampa, Fla.: 9.8 percent

When it comes to rent, Seattle is the leader of the pack, with rents that have risen 9.3 percent during the past year. The median price is $2,078 per month and it’s the fourth month in a row that Seattle has led the nation in rent appreciation.

Here are the top 5 cities for rent appreciation, with Portland again in the mix:

  • Seattle: 9.3 percent
  • Portland: 7 percent
  • Sacramento, Calif.: 5.8 percent
  • San Diego: 4.9 percent
  • Los Angeles: 4.8 percent

Seattle’s booming tech industry — fueled by companies such as Amazon, Expedia, Microsoft and a host of new entrants such as Facebook, Groupon and Salesforce — is certainly playing a part in the increasing rents and housing prices. And that boom has some concerned that Seattle is losing its soul, perhaps following in the path of San Francisco whose housing market has forced many middle income earners to leave.

A new report out this week from the Washington’s Employment Security Department found that the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in September in the Seattle metro area, down from 4.1 percent in the previous month.


Nationally, Zillow found that inventory has been falling steadily, with about 4 to 6 percent fewer homes for sale over the past several months. The company reports that bidding wars are commonplace in many housing markets across the country.

“Increasingly strong demand has been contributing to dwindling inventory stocks across the nation,” Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell said in a news release. “Healthy demand for for-sale homes amidst low inventory has been driving the market, which is another sign that the housing market is recovering nicely. Buyers in the nation’s fastest moving markets can expect the search process to last a few months, as market conditions are often extremely competitive with homes selling for above asking price and receiving multiple offers. It’s definitely a seller’s market right now, with some homes being more expensive than ever.”

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