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Housing Market Snapshot: ‘Nothing Typical About 2020’

Home values during December reached to $266,104, an 8.4% year-over-year ascent and the highest annual increase since January 2014, according to new data from Zillow.

Home value growth during the fourth quarter of 2020 was 3.2%, the highest at since the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) series started in 1996. Phoenix ranked highest among the major metros in yearly home value growth with a 15.3% upswing, with San Jose a single percentage point behind at 15.2%. Other notable year-over-year gains occurred in Salt Lake City (13.2%), Seattle (13%), and Austin (12.9%).

Monthly home value growth last month was 1.1%, unchanged from November. Nonetheless, this was still the fastest month-over-month growth that Zillow has recorded in 14 years. Monthly growth ranged from 0.6% in Las Vegas to 1.8% in Salt Lake City.

Zillow’s data was mirrored by the latest Radian Home Price Index (HPI) data released by Red Bell Real Estate LLC, a Radian Group Inc. company, which determined four records were broken by the 2020 housing market: The highest average sales price ($381,316), the shortest days on market to sale (93), the number of closed sales (3.6 months) and the average active monthly listings (1.2 months).

“In the end, there was nothing typical about 2020,” noted Steve Gaenzler, SVP of Data and Analytics. “As the country shut down in March, no one predicted what would happen over the remainder of the year. Despite a global pandemic, social unrest at levels not seen in generations, and a divisive political environment, the U.S. housing market thrived. In many ways, this was a Black Swan outcome, albeit a positive one.”

“The confluence of fiscal policy, monetary policy, the administration, and private sector innovation such as remote valuations, digital closings, and many other product innovations, paved the way to not just stabilize housing, but to create an environment for strong growth,” Gaenzler added.

The Radian HPI data also determined home prices rose from November to December at an annualized rate of 8.5% and closed the calendar year 2020 with an 8% annualized increase.

About Author: Phil Hall

Phil Hall is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News, the author of nine books, the host of the award-winning SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show," co-host of the award-winning WAPJ-FM talk show "Nutmeg Chatter" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill's Congress Blog and Profit Confidential. His real estate finance writing has been published in the ABA Banking Journal, Secondary Marketing Executive, Servicing Management, MortgageOrb, Progress in Lending, National Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional America, Canadian Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional News, Mortgage Broker News and HousingWire.
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