In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. home sales slumped. Since then, however, the market has come roaring back — and 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 May 2020 and May 2021, the typical single-family American home appreciated in value from $253,773 to $287,148, a 13.2% 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 50,000 or more, home values have appreciated by at least 22.3% over the past year. In some of them, the value of a typical family home has surged by more than 37.6%. 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. And demand for housing is often precipitated by a growing population. According to the most recent available Census data, 39 of the 50 cities and towns on this list reported population growth over the last one-year period.
Home prices are also 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 this list for which income data is available, 49 reported year-over-year growth in median household income, based on the most recent available data Census data.