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Home Values Rising Faster in 47% of Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones study: 47% had housing price gains higher than the national increase of 9.4%, though they’re also “among the most vulnerable to economic downturns.”

IRVINE, Calif. – ATTOM Data Solutions released its third special report analyzing the qualified Opportunity Zones established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In the latest report, ATTOM looked at about 3,700 zones with sufficient sales data to analyze, meaning they had at least five home sales in each quarter from 2005 through the fourth quarter of 2019.

 About half the zones included in the report saw median home prices rise more than the national increase of 9.4% in a year-to-year comparison of the fourth quarter of 2019.

 The report also found that 78% of the zones had median home prices in the fourth quarter of 2019 that were less than the national median of $257,000 – almost the same percentage as in the third quarter of 2019. About 48% of the zones had median prices less than $150,000.

 “Home prices in thousands of Opportunity Zone neighborhoods targeted for revival across the United States continued to ride the tide of the national housing market boom in the fourth quarter of 2019, marching along with broad trends and even doing better in many areas,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions.

However, Teta says the “areas are among the most vulnerable to economic downturns. As a result, the recent upswing could change on a dime if the broader housing market flattens out or sags. But for now, the price gains are a crucial measure that neighborhoods designated as Opportunity Zone tax breaks hold significant allure for potential residents.”

Report findings 

  • Median prices rose from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019 in 66% of the Opportunity Zones with sufficient data to analyze. In 34% of the zones, prices declined or stayed the same.
  • Median prices in 47% of Opportunity Zones rose year-over-year more than values increased nationally. The national increase from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019 was 9.4%.
  • In 20 states, year-over-year median price increases in at least half their Opportunity Zones beat the national 9.4% figure. Those with the most such zones were Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona, Ohio and New Jersey.
  • Among the Opportunity Zones with sufficient data to analyze, California had the most, with 465, followed by Florida (332), Texas (234), Pennsylvania (166) and North Carolina (165).
  • Of the zones analyzed, 1,776 (48%) had a median price of less than $150,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019, and 594 (16%) had medians ranging from $150,000 to $199,999. Another 529 (14%) ranged from $200,000 up to the national median price of $257,000, while 817 (22%) were more than $257,000.
  • In Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with sufficient sales data to analyze, 84% of Opportunity Zones had median fourth quarter sales prices less than the median values in their surrounding MSAs. Among those, 25% had median sales prices that were less than half the figure for the MSAs. At the same time, 16% of the zones had median sales prices that were equal to or above the median sales price of their broader MSAs.
  • The Midwest continued to have the highest rate of Opportunity Zone tracts with a median home price of less than $150,000 (73%), followed by the South (58%), the Northeast (51%) and the West (12%).
  • States with the highest percentage of census tracts meeting Opportunity Zone requirements included Wyoming (17%), Mississippi (15%), Alabama (13%), North Dakota (12%) and New Mexico (12%). Washington, DC, was also among the leaders (14%). Nationwide, 10% of all tracts qualify.

 © 2020 Florida Realtors®