Thanks to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, American housing markets have had to deal with a truly unprecedented situation (or, at least since the 1918 Spanish flu). While most housing markets experienced an initial dip in activity, over the last year many housing markets have experienced robust recovery, especially in terms of their prices.
Using data from Redfin RDFN, including median sale prices and year-over-year changes from September 2019 to September 2020, as well as other factors like available for-sale inventory, months of home supply, and numbers of new listings, we have identified the 10 cities that have seen their home prices rise the most over the last two years, measured in terms of both absolute dollar amounts and percentage growth.
Bellevue is a large suburb of Seattle whose housing market has been particularly hot in recent years. Homebuying activity has been so heavy that Bellevue is one of the cities with the lowest housing inventory in the U.S. in 2021. Perhaps, not surprisingly, because inventory is dwindling, home prices in Bellevue are climbing. The median sale price in Bellevue was $887,500 in September 2019, before soaring by 23.4% over the next 12 months to reach $1.096 million in September 2020. If that weren’t enough, over the course of September 2020 to September 2021, Bellevue’s median sale price jumped another 18.2%, reaching an incredible $1.295 million (which is actually slightly lower than its all-time high of $1.3 million attained in July 2021.
Fremont is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and therefore isn’t cheap when it comes to houses. Despite this, Fremont home prices managed to still increase by large amounts. In September 2019, Fremont’s median sale price was $992,500. Over the next 12 months, inventory plummeted by 47.8%, cutting the number of available homes for-sale by half, and pushing the median sale price up to $1.19 million. With housing activity not letting up, available inventory in Fremont declined by an additional 23.9%, making buying a home much harder and more costly than before. Over the same period, the median sale price rose even further to an all-time high of $1.35 million as of September 2021.
Homebuying activity has picked up the pace over the last year. From a sizeable 2,271 available homes for-sale in September 2019, Scottsdale’s inventory only dropped by 3.5% year-over-year, settling at 2,191 homes for-sale in September 2020. But from there, homes really flew off the shelves, with inventory plummeting by 46.6%, down to only 1,171 houses for-sale by September 2021. With supply declining, home prices responded in kind, rising by 22.1% from September 2019 ($477,000 median sale price) to September 2020 ($582,500). With new listings of homes for sale down 27.3% from last September, tight supply has continued, and Scottsdale’s median sale price reached an all-time high of $715,000 in August 2021.
San Jose, California
The center of Silicon Valley, San Jose went from an already-expensive housing market to an even-more-expensive housing market from 2019 to 2021. From a healthy 2.3 months supply of homes in September 2019, San Jose’s supply dropped 43.5% to only 1.3 months of supply in September 2020. A year later, that figure sunk by 53.8%, leaving only 0.6 months of home supply by September 2021, and an available inventory of 537 homes — itself down 47.4% from the previous September’s 1,021 available homes for-sale. As a result, San Jose home prices have taken flight, with the median sale price increasing by more than 31%, from $946,000 in September 2019, to $1.24 million in September 2021.
Rochester, New York
Rochester managed to make the list, experiencing a serious seesaw in home prices from 2019 to 2020, but ultimately has come out on top. The median sale price in Rochester actually dipped by 21.8%, from $167,950 in September 2019, down to $121,296 in September 2020. But with inventory in September 2021 down 46.8% from the previous September as well as months of home supply down 20% from September 2020, Rochester home prices soared back in 2021. From $121,296 in September 2020, the Rochester median sale price surged by nearly 170%, reaching $285,000 in September 2021. Take note, however, that home prices in Rochester have been volatile. For example, after the low of $121,296 reached in September 2020, the median sale price shot up to an all-time high of $368,000 by November 2020, before dropping back down quickly. And, in August 2021, Rochester’s median sale price attained its highest level of 2021 at $356,000.
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Pembroke Pines real estate is no stranger to the ups and downs of housing markets, especially considering how crazy Florida’s housing market can get . However, over the last two years, home prices in Pembroke Pines have been on a solid incline. Back in September 2019, the median sale price in Pembroke Pines was only $265,000. But a year later, despite the pandemic’s impact on the U.S., Pembroke Pines home prices rose precipitously, reaching $324,450 in September 2020 — a year-over-year increase of 22.4%. This growth in prices continued in 2021 as homebuying picked up pace, reducing available for-sale inventory in Pembroke Pines by 35.7%: From 691 homes for sale in September 2020, down to 444 homes for sale in September 2021. At the same time, the median sale price rose by another 22%, from $324,450 to $395,750 in September 2021, an increase of $71,300 in only a year.
The Glendale housing market managed to shake off the effects of the pandemic fairly well. Homebuying activity has picked up in Glendale, reducing available for-sale inventory by 45.4% since 2019, when in September that year there were 291 homes available, down to only 159 homes for-sale in September 2021. Glendale’s median sale price stood at $810,000 in September 2019, but over the course of the next 12 months, it increased by $126,000, to reach $936,000 in September 2020. And a year on from there, Glendale’s median sale price clocked in at $1.05 million as of September 2021, a nominal increase of $114,000 in the median home price in only a year.
Located to the west of Boston, Worcester has seen its home prices take off over the last two years. Home sales are up 8.3% since last September and homes are going for more than they’re listed for. For example, in September 2021, the average sale-to-list price was 103.8%, meaning the sale price was 3.8% higher than the price the home was listed for. Meanwhile, the median sale price in Worcester embarked on a strong incline, rising almost 25% from September 2019’s $252,500, to $315,000 in September 2020; from there, it grew again, by 17.5% year-over-year, reaching a historic high of $370,000 in September 2021.
Boise has become a sizzling hotspot for population and economic growth in recent years. Throughout 2021, Boise has proven to be one of the hottest housing markets in the U.S . Available inventory took a serious hit due to heavy homebuying activity, declining 49.3% from September 2019, when there were 756 homes for-sale, down to 383 homes for-sale in September 2020. Inventory somewhat recovered by September 2021, but mainly due to new listings coming online. But home prices in Boise continued to increase. From $326,500 in September 2019, Boise’s median sale price increased by 18.6%, reaching $387,270, followed by an even bigger jump of 23.9% over the last year and reaching $480,000 by September 2021.
Palmdale is to the north of Los Angeles proper, tucked into the Antelope Valley. Home prices in Palmdale have posted very impressive growth over the last two years. The median sale price in September 2019 was $333,000, before rising by 23.1% to reach a new high of $410,000 by September 2020. Then, from that historic high, Palmdale’s median home price increase another 14.6%, reaching an all-time high of $470,000 in September 2021.
20 Cities With the Biggest Growth in Home Prices of 2021
Below you’ll find a table that displays the top 20 cities with the largest increases in median sale prices from 2019 to 2021.
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