The Housing Market Is Crazier Than It’s Been Since 2006

Adelicia Caree

Less than a day after real-estate agent Andrea White listed a three-bedroom home for sale in Sacramento, Calif., in March, she received an all-cash offer. The buyer—who had not even seen the home in person—was ready to pay $520,000, Ms. White said. That was $21,000 above the asking price and […]

Less than a day after real-estate agent Andrea White listed a three-bedroom home for sale in Sacramento, Calif., in March, she received an all-cash offer. The buyer—who had not even seen the home in person—was ready to pay $520,000, Ms. White said. That was $21,000 above the asking price and 37% more than the seller had paid for the ranch-style home only two years ago.

Accepting the offer was the easy part. Ms. White then had to call 17 other agents who had scheduled tours of the house to let them know it was off the market.

Ms. White, who works for brokerage Redfin Corp. and has been an agent since 2014, has never seen anything like the sales mania gripping her Northern California city. “It’s exhausting,” she said. “I’m speechless. It’s heartbreaking for buyers; it’s celebration for sellers.”

The past year has been the hottest for sales activity in 14 years. Home values are rising in practically every corner of the U.S., and median sale prices in dozens of metro areas have posted double-digit percentage increases from a year ago, according to Zillow Group Inc. In Boise, Idaho, the median sale price rose almost 25% in January from a year earlier, while in Stamford, Conn., it rose 19%.

“Prices are up virtually everywhere,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co. “It is surprising to see home prices rebound this quickly, by this magnitude, this early into an economic recovery.”

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