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Seattle housing
New construction, as shown here in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood this month, could help ease pressure on low inventory. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

If hope springs eternal, we’ve got some bad news for hopeful home buyers before spring even gets here: housing prices in the Seattle region are still soaring, even during typically dark and dreary February.

New numbers from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service this week show that the median price for a home in Seattle jumped to $777,000 last month. That’s up $20,000 from a record that was set in January.

Across Lake Washington on the Eastside, the median price is inching closer to $1 million, with prices now at $950,000.

With the region’s tech boom showing no signs of letting up, and Seattle maintaining it’s title of hottest market in the U.S., prices are sure to continue to rise as we move into the warmer months. Low inventory and bidding wars will further exacerbate the crisis of affordability.

“The hyper job market in the Pacific Northwest continues to outpace almost every metro area in the nation,” said Mike Grady, president and COO at Coldwell Banker Bain. “And thus our housing market is booming; for now, there is no end in sight.”

And there’s more tough news for home shoppers, as pointed out by The Seattle Times’ take on the report:

  • Fleeing to further flung locales won’t necessarily help. Home prices are up at least 15 percent in every county in the Puget Sound region and in Snohomish and Pierce counties, record highs for home values are being set. Snohomish had the largest year-over-year price increase at 18.8 percent, Northwest MLS reported.
  • And speaking of low inventory, condo prices are up 22 percent from a year ago in King County.
  • Waiting and trying to save was probably a futile plan. The typical house in Seattle costs about $100,000 more than it did a year ago.

In another statement in the MLS report, George Moorhead, a designated broker at Bentley Properties, said “buyers are coming to the harsh reality that high home prices are here to stay.”

A reference in the report to the region’s dreaded traffic is the icing on the cake, as it suggests buyers might need to consider smaller homes or longer than hoped-for drive times.

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