According to the latest HUD quarterly report for the Northwestern U.S., job growth continued to be strong during the fourth quarter of 2015.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 2.8 percent, or by 163,700 jobs, from a year earlier to 6.04 million jobs, the greatest fourth quarter gain since the labor market recovery began in 2010.
The fourth quarter unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of jobless rate declines. The sales market was tight in major metropolitan areas during the fourth quarter. In response to strong job growth, the demand for sales housing led to a 13-percent increase in new and existing home sales and a 6-percent gain in the average price of new and existing homes sold.
Apartment market conditions are very tight to balanced, with vacancy rates ranging from 1.3 to 5.6 percent among the 15 metropolitan areas for which data are available.