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Your House Had A Good Year

Steve Goode
Mar 18, 2022
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Home value growth last year exceeded median income in 25 of 38 major metros it studied, with appreciation reaching higher than $100,000 in 11 of them.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • San Jose has the highest median income at $93,000, it also led all major metros in annual home value appreciation.
  • According to the study, rents increased by 16% across the U.S. in 2021 and upward of 25% in popular Sun Belt locales like Miami, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

Babe Ruth was once asked if he should be making more money than the president. Reportedly, his reply was “Why not? I had a better year than he did.”

Well, if your house could talk it might say the same thing about you in 2021.

According to a study released today by Zillow, home-value growth last year exceeded median income in 25 of the 38 major metros studied, with appreciation reaching higher than $100,000 in 11 of them.

San Jose has the highest median income at $93,000. It also led all major metros in annual home-value appreciation — with the typical home growing a whopping $229,277 over 2021, nearly what oral surgeons make, the study said. 

Expensive coastal markets in California and Hawaii saw home value growth wallop local median incomes by the largest amounts. San Jose led, but San Francisco closely followed, with homes earning $129,914 more than the median salary. Boise, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Phoenix rounded out the Top 10.

Even the smallest growing markets had pretty good years, even if they weren’t better than the Bambino’s. 

Metropolitan areas with the lowest home-price appreciation relative to median incomes were Detroit, St. Louis, and Baltimore, though even the smallest home-value growth among these metros, in St. Louis, was still higher than $27,000. 

Playing the role of Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States, were renters.

According to the study, rents increased by 16% across the U.S. in 2021 and upward of 25% in popular Sun Belt locales like Miami, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. Locking in a one-year lease on a typical U.S. rental cost $3,072 more at the end of the year than the start of the year. It was $7,104 more in Miami, $4,644 more in Phoenix, and $4,380 more in Las Vegas — major hits to a household budget, as that money can't be saved toward a down payment. 

"More than anything, 2021 was a year of haves and have-nots, and the chasm between the two widening throughout," said Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud. "Those who owned a home saw their household wealth increase dramatically. But many renters witnessed that dream either soar out of reach or had to drastically adjust their expectations and plans."

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