The U.S. housing market ended 2018 with a cumulative worth of $33.3 trillion, gaining $1.9 trillion in value, or 6.2 percent, from 2017, according to data from Zillow. The market is now worth $4 trillion more than it was at the peak of the housing bubble and gained $10.9 trillion in value since it bottomed out in 2012.
Zillow added that the California housing market accounted for nearly one-third of the value gained during the nationwide housing recovery, expanding by $3.7 trillion since early 2012. California is the only state that has gained more than $1 trillion in value since the market’s collapse. At a metro level, the New York/Northern New Jersey area was the most valuable at $3 trillion, or 9.1 percent of the national housing market, while California had four of the nation’s 10 most valuable metros in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego. On the flip side, 10 states have yet to regain the value lost during the Great Recession, most notably Florida at $263.9 billion below its peak level.
"Seen from the rearview mirror, 2018 was a year of unusually strong, stable home value growth across the country," said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. "But cracks in the foundation are clearly starting to emerge. During the second half of the year, appreciation slowed sharply in the priciest corners of the country while it picked up in affordable hotspots. Periods of stability often precede periods of instability, and the outlook for 2019 is certainly both cloudier and blurrier than the outlook a year ago. Housing wealth may have touched new highs this year, but home value gains don't translate into dollars in the bank account unless homeowners opt to sell or borrow against their home—and, in contrast to previous housing booms, many Americans have been more reluctant in recent years to spend against their home's worth. Moving toward an uncertain future, that may prove to be a prescient choice."