SEATTLE (AP) — Home prices in Washington state are rising faster than any other state in the nation, growing at a rate of nearly double the national average, a newspaper reported.

Washington is also among the top five states for priciest homes overall, just below Hawaii and California, The Seattle Times reported Wednesday.

The median resale home price for the entire state rose from about $270,000 to about $290,000 between the first quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.

San Juan, Stevens, Mason, Grays Harbor, Columbia, Lincoln, King, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla and Jefferson counties were among those with price increases of 20 percent or more during the first few months of 2016 compared with a year ago. In King County, the median resale price jumped from about $450,000 in the first quarter of 2015 to nearly $675,000 in the first quarter of 2016.

In April, Washington home prices increased 10.6 percent compared with a year ago. Data firm CoreLogic said that’s the biggest jump in any state for the third month in a row.

Oregon prices rose 10.3 percent during the same period, putting that state in second place.

Going back 40 years, the only other time Washington topped the list was a three-month stretch in the winter of 1989 and 1990.

The Puget Sound region is still a big driver of rising home prices, with the Seattle metro area seeing increases of about 12 percent in the past year.

Across the state, 37 of 39 Washington counties saw prices rise compared with a year ago.

In Clark and Whatcom counties, median home prices have hovered around $300,000 so far this year. Just four years ago, the counties that include Vancouver and Bellingham had prices around $200,000.

Gragg Miller, a managing broker at the Coldwell Banker Bain office in Bellingham, remembers hearing from Seattle agents years ago about getting 10 or more offers on houses in Seattle, creating bidding wars that drove up prices.

Now, he’s seeing a steady flow of transplants from the Puget Sound region looking to escape the traffic and higher costs

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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