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REPORT: Houston area’s housing market gained $42B in value in 2020

Suburb (Pixabay)

A tumultuous year for the economy, prompted by a global pandemic, didn’t stifle the Houston-area housing market in 2020. The area’s housing market gained $42 billion in value last year, according to a recent report from Zillow.

Greater Houston’s housing market is now worth an estimated $533 billion -- up $272 billion from 2011.

Of the Lone Star State’s largest Texas metro areas, Houston’s housing market isn’t the most valuable (The Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan area holds that distinction) but it did see the largest total increase in value during the pandemic: The Dallas-Fort Worth housing market is worth $625 billion, up $38 billion in value in 2020; Austin’s housing market is worth $264 billion, up $27 billion in value; and San Antonio’s housing market is worth $167 billion, up $9 billion in value.

At $2.1 trillion, Texas has the fourth most valuable housing market in the nation, behind Florida ($2.2 trillion), New York ($2.8 trillion) and California ($7.8 trillion).

Overall, the nation’s full stock of housing, now worth $36.2 trillion, gained nearly $2.5 trillion in value in 2020 -- the highest increase in a single year since 2005 -- according to Zillow.

“2020 was a remarkable year for the housing market. Strong demand drove intense competition among buyers, causing homes to fly off the market at the fastest pace Zillow has recorded and pushing prices higher,” the report reads. “Housing demand was already strong coming into the year with the large Millennial generation aging into prime first-time home-buying age and mortgage rates hovering near record lows. The widespread shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted many to reevaluate their housing options and supercharged demand.”

The online real estate platform expects the nation’s housing market will make an even stronger showing in 2021.

“We are forecasting almost 6.9 million existing homes will be sold in calendar year 2021, the most sales recorded in a single calendar year since 2005 and the largest one-year increase (21.9%) since the early 1980s,” the platform forecasted in another recent report.

Several market factors are driving Zillow’s optimistic outlook.

“The first is simple momentum — near-term, forward-looking indicators of home purchases have been exceptionally strong in recent months, and that strength is expected to continue. Purchase mortgage applications have risen consistently year-over-year since May, averaging 22% annual growth over that period. And an index of pending home sales from the National Association of Realtors – a look ahead at sales expected to officially close over the ensuing few months — has also experienced double-digit annual growth since June, and was almost 20% year-over-year in October.”

View the full report here.

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