The Washington state housing market is the hottest in the country right now, according to CNBC’s Scott Cohn and data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Home prices increased almost four percent in the first quarter, which details the largest jump in the nation. Prices are also up nearly 13 percent from one year ago, but the inventory of homes on the market has not come close to meeting the demand.

The situation is especially critical in the Puget Sound area around Seattle, which has added nearly 55,000 jobs in the last year alone, thanks to hiring at big employers like Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing. Combine the resulting surge in population with a slow pace of construction and you get a classic crunch.

“A good, healthy market in any area is probably four to six months of inventory. Within the last two or three months, we were, in our primary markets, with about two to three weeks of inventory,” said Martin, a Re/Max agent and the president of Washington Realtors, which represents about half of the real estate brokers in the state.

Martin said the crunch has eased a bit in recent weeks with the start of the peak selling season. Still, like just about every real estate agent, buyer, seller, homeowner and renter in the region, he worries about where the market is headed next and how much longer the boom will last.

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