U.S. home prices, fueled by the lowest mortgage rates in history, rose at the fastest pace on record, surpassing the peak from the last property boom in 2005.

The median price of a single-family home climbed 14.9 per cent to US$315,000 in the fourth quarter. That was the biggest surge in data going back to 1990, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The Northeast led the way as buyers rushed to the suburbs. Fairfield County, Connecticut, home to Greenwich and other tony towns, rose 39 per cent for the biggest increase in the U.S.

The pandemic property boom has been driven by low borrowing costs and flexible work policies that allow Americans to live where they want.

People are leaving expensive cities like New York and San Francisco relocating to more affordable areas. Even with high unemployment, prices are soaring across the U.S. because there’s an increasingly short supply of existing homes to choose from.