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Note. January 2021 data is the latest available from Case-Shiller as I write this on March 30, 2021. The data is a 3-month moving average so what they call January is really the November-January average.

Real House Price Appreciation

Phoenix houses continue to appreciate faster than in any of the other metro areas covered by Case-Shiller. Real, inflation-adjusted house prices increased 14% over the previous 12 months in Phoenix AZ.

For the U.S. as a whole, real, inflation-adjusted house prices were up 10% from January 2020 to January 2021.

House Price Momentum

House prices continued to gain upward momentum in January. Nominal house prices increased more over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months in ALL cities covered by Case-Shiller.

For the U.S. as a whole, nominal house prices increased 7% faster in 2020 than in 2019. That’s a ton of upward price momentum.

New York was the #1 metro for upward house price momentum in 2020 versus 2019. Two months ago it was #5. That’s double momentum.

Home Prices

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the USA is now 236 which means nationally single-family houses have appreciated 136% since January 2000.

Fastest Price Appreciation

  • Phoenix had 16% house price appreciation (nominal) in 2020!
  • Seattle and San Diego saw 14% annual appreciation.

Slowest Price Appreciation Is Still Very Fast!

Chicago, Dallas and Las Vegas saw 9% house price appreciation in 2020 which was the slowest of the cities covered by Case-Shiller. In 2019, 9% would have been the fastest appreciating city in the country!

Mortgage Rates Fell 2.1 Percentage Points From Nov 2018 to Jan 2021

After 2 years of, more or less, constantly falling mortgage interest rates, houses had an incredible amount of upward price momentum.

You can see the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate hit 4.94% for a couple of weeks in November 2018 and then bottomed out at 2.65% for one week last January. That’s the main reason the real estate market is manic despite a recession and a pandemic.

Per dollar borrowed, your monthly principal and interest payment was 32% less in January 2021 than in November 2018. You could pay a LOT more for a house with the same monthly payment and a lot of people did.

However, mortgage rates have been increasing since January so that tailwind isn’t continuing to get stronger.

Note. You can find interactive versions of these charts for all 20 Case-Shiller metros here.


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