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Your house probably made more than you did last year

Your house probably made more than you did last year


Skyrocketing home values and rent make the jump to ownership even more challenging

  • 2021 home value growth exceeded median income in 25 of 38 major metros studied.
  • Appreciation on the typical home ranged from the equivalent of an oral surgeon’s annual wages in San Jose to that of a food preparation worker in St. Louis.
  • Annual rent payments grew by more than $3,000, while down payments increased by more than $10,000.

SEATTLE, March 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The term “household income” was given new meaning in 2021 as a banner year for home appreciation found houses themselves earning more than the median worker in major metros across the country, according to a new study by Zillow®

“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.” 

Home value appreciation in 2021 was higher than median incomes in 25 of 38 major metropolitan areas studied by Zillow, with appreciation reaching higher than $100,000 in 11 of them. Though 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. 

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. 

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

While homeowners watched their assets multiply in 2021, the chasm separating many renters from homeownership widened, as home prices skyrocketed and rising rents eroded their ability to save for a down payment.

Rents rose 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. 

At the same time, down payments — often the highest hurdle to homeownership for first-time buyers — rose by more than $10,000 in 2021 for a typical 30-year fixed mortgage. Sticking with our metros used in the rent comparison, typical down payments rose nearly $14,500 in Miami, more than $20,600 in Phoenix and $16,700 in Las Vegas. 

Metro Area*

Home Value
Growth
December
2020 –
December
2021

Median
Pretax
Income,
2021**

Home Value
Growth
Minus
Median
Income

2021 Rise in
Full-Year
Rent
Payments

U.S. Profession’s
Mean Annual Wage
Closest to 2021
Home Value
Growth***

United States

$52,667

$50,000

$2,667

$3,072

Directors, religious
activities and
education

New York–
Newark— Jersey
City

$63,928

$60,000

$3,928

$4,656

Judicial law clerks

Los Angeles– Long
Beach– Anaheim

$131,979

$50,000

$81,979

$3,924

Judges, magistrates

Chicago–
Naperville– Elgin

$34,918

$57,000

-$22,082

$2,028

Other protective
service workers

Dallas–Fort
Worth– Arlington

$69,488

$50,000

$19,488

$3,156

Human resource
specialists

Houston– The
Woodlands–
Sugar Land

$45,250

$50,000

-$4,750

$2,004

Dental laboratory
technicians

Washington,
D.C.– Arlington-
Alexandria

$56,163

$75,000

-$18,837

$2,700

Loading machine
operators,
underground mining

Miami– Fort
Lauderdale– West
Palm Beach

$72,053

$40,000

$32,053

$7,104

Public relations
specialists

Philadelphia–
Camden–
Wilmington

$39,994

$60,000

-$20,006

$2,160

Supervisors of food
preparation and
serving workers

Atlanta– Sandy
Springs– Roswell

$73,036

$50,000

$23,036

$4,008

Soil and plant
scientists

Phoenix– Mesa–
Scottsdale

$103,470

$52,000

$51,470

$4,644

Education
administrators, K–2

Boston–
Cambridge–
Newton

$76,616

$66,852

$9,764

$3,948

Arbitrators,
mediators

San Francisco–
Oakland-Hayward

$204,914

$75,000

$129,914

$3,540

General internal
medicine physicians

Riverside– San
Bernardino–
Ontario

$111,014

$45,000

$66,014

$4,560

Air transportation
workers

Detroit– Warren–
Dearborn

$29,675

$57,000

-$27,325

$1,644

Gambling cage
workers

Seattle– Tacoma–
Bellevue

$131,129

$65,000

$66,129

$3,816

Computer and
information research
scientists

Minneapolis– St.
Paul–
Bloomington

$39,942

$60,000

-$20,058

$1,020

Gambling
surveillance officers

San Diego—
Carlsbad

$160,493

$54,703

$105,790

$4,932

Computer and
information systems
managers

Tampa– St.
Petersburg–
Clearwater

$74,754

$46,000

$28,754

$5,292

Criminal justice
teachers,
postsecondary

Denver– Aurora–
Lakewood

$108,922

$65,000

$43,922

$2,928

Electrical engineers

St. Louis

$27,741

$50,000

-$22,259

$1,428

Cooks and food
preparation workers

Baltimore–
Columbia–
Towson

$36,984

$60,000

-$23,016

$2,316

Medical assistants

Charlotte–
Concord–
Gastonia

$71,804

$57,000

$14,804

$3,384

Commercial divers

Orlando–
Kissimmee–
Sanford

$64,638

$44,384

$20,254

$4,380

Set and exhibit
designers

San Antonio–
New Braunfels

$54,769

$46,966

$7,803

$2,292

Counselors

Portland–
Hillsboro–
Vancouver

$83,283

$60,000

$23,283

$2,520

Speech-language
pathologists

Las Vegas–
Henderson–
Paradise

$83,894

$46,000

$37,894

$4,380

Nuclear technicians

Kansas City

$40,846

$50,000

-$9,154

$1,368

Mixing and blending
machine setters,
operators

San Jose–
Sunnyvale– Santa
Clara

$229,277

$93,000

$136,277

$3,108

Oral and maxillofacial
surgeons

Nashville–
Davidson–
Murfreesboro–
Franklin

$84,395

$50,000

$34,395

$3,372

Emergency
management
directors

Providence–
Warwick

$66,657

$55,000

$11,657

$2,364

Court reporters and
simultaneous
captioners

Oklahoma City

$26,866

$44,044

-$17,178

$1,584

Food preparation
workers

New Orleans–
Metairie

$31,945

$47,000

-$15,055

$2,628

Textile machine
setters, operators
and tenders

Salt Lake City

$119,539

$53,638

$65,901

$3,156

Computer network
architects

Birmingham–
Hoover

$31,968

$50,000

-$18,032

$1,476

Helpers – production
workers

Urban Honolulu

$138,254

$51,000

$87,254

$2,820

Operations
specialties managers

Omaha– Council
Bluffs

$31,114

$50,000

-$18,886

$1,236

Funeral attendants

Albuquerque

$47,215

$45,000

$2,215

$2,736

Educational
instruction and
library workers, all
others

Boise City

$124,979

$50,000

$74,979

$3,240

Health specialties
teachers,
postsecondary

About Zillow Group
Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG) is reimagining real estate to make it easier to unlock life’s next chapter. As the most visited real estate website in the United States, Zillow® and its affiliates offer customers an on-demand experience for selling, buying, renting or financing with transparency and ease. 

Zillow Group’s affiliates and subsidiaries include Zillow®, Zillow Offers®, Zillow Premier Agent®, Zillow Home Loans™, Zillow Closing Services™, Zillow Homes, Inc., Trulia®, Out East®, ShowingTime®, Bridge Interactive®, dotloop®, StreetEasy® and HotPads®. Zillow Home Loans, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #10287 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).  

SOURCE Zillow





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