In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. home sales slumped. Since then, however, the market has come roaring back. Rising demand, in conjunction with a relatively low supply of housing, has caused home values to surge.
According to estimates from Zillow, a Seattle-based real estate data company, between January 2020 and January 2021, the typical single-family American home appreciated in value from $246,563 to $269,039, a 9.1% increase. Of course, housing markets also respond to local forces, and in some parts of the country, home values have appreciated at more than double the national rate.
In 50 cities and towns with populations of 35,000 or more used to find the market where housing prices are rising the fastest, home values have appreciated by at least 16% over the past year. In some of them, the value of a typical family home has surged by more than 24%. Though these communities span the country, they tend to be concentrated in the western United States.
One factor that can contribute to rapidly climbing home prices at a local level is demand. A growing population often precipitates demand for housing. According to the most recent available census data, 33 of the 50 cities and towns on this list reported population growth over the past one-year period.
Home prices also are largely dictated by what local residents can afford, and rising home values can often be the result of rising incomes. Of the 50 places on the list of finalists for the city where housing prices are rising the fastest, the only ones included are those for which income data is available. Of these, 48 reported year-over-year growth in median household income, based on the most recent available data census data.
Flint, Michigan, one of the poorest cities in America, tops the list, with a one-year change in median home value of 25.2%, which is $6,988. Some more on the Flint market:
> Median home value; January 2021: $34,715
> 1-yr. population change: –0.6% (–602)
> Population: 96,559
> 1-yr. change in median household income: +4.0% (+$1,117)
> Median household income: $28,834