Already weighed down with student debt, millennials also struggle when it comes to buying a house. In some markets, the rise in home prices over the past two decades has made homeownership considerably more unaffordable for many young people. In some markets, housing prices rose far faster than wages. (And with mortgage rate climbing, housing affordability is even harder to reach. These are the mortgage rate in America every year since 1972.)
To determine the cities where home values went up the most since 2000, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed housing values for mid-2000 (or the earliest year possible) and mid-2022, using data from real-estate marketplace company Zillow. We used the seasonally-adjusted Zillow Home Value Index for all single-family residences, condos, and co-ops.
To compare affordability in 2000 and today, we looked at personal income per capita for 2000 and 2021 in each urban area from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. These figures are not inflation adjusted. 2021 population figures also came from the BEA. We then used housing values and incomes to calculate the affordability ratio of housing value-to-income and show how it has changed over the two decades.
It is no surprise where the cities with skyrocketing housing values are found. Twelve are in California, but none of the big three of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco cracked the top 10. Instead, they ranked 11, 13, and 14, respectively. Today, the current value of a home in those cities hovers around $1 million. (Also see, states where home values increased the most during COVID.)
The market where home values leaped nearly the highest over the past two decades is the small, Northern California town of Redding, which came in at No 2. There, home values rose 383%, pushing housing values from $79,489 to $383,588. Meanwhile, personal income per capita edged up only 115%, from just under $26,000 to $54,972 in the past two decades. So if just over three incomes were enough to buy a typical home 20 years ago, today seven incomes would be required.
The northern Arizona town of Payson takes the top spot. Between 2000 and 2022, home values soared 400%, from $80,129 to $400,933. Yet per capita incomes rose only 149%, from $19,607 to $48,752. That calculates to a housing value-to-income ratio of 8.2.
With housing prices climbing 378% between 2000 and 2022, Kapaa, Hawaii, lands the No. 3 spot. Kapaa also had the widest gap between housing prices and per capita income increases. The value of homes in this community on the island of Kauai is $906,955. To afford the typical house, a resident would need more than 16 times the current per capita income per capita of $56,103.
To put these cities’ home values in context, Zillow estimates the value of a typical home in the U.S. was $357,589 as of October, 13.5% more than a year ago. The housing value in only three cities on this list is below that number.
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