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In 2020, Homes Made More Money than Jobs

The median worker earned about $50K, and the average home made about $52.6K last year, according to Zillow’s home value index.

NEW YORK – Zillow Group’s home value index climbed 19.6% in 2021 to $321,634 – a $52,667 year-on-year gain. That’s more than the median U.S. full-time worker earned for the 12 months – about $50,000 before taxes, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

It’s the first time the annual nationwide dollar growth for a typical home value surpassed the inflation-adjusted median pretax income.

“The people who are winning the housing bids, typically, are folks who have higher incomes or have the equity from their previous home that they’re able to put forward,” says Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud. “That’s definitely a big challenge … when we consider first-time buyers, renters, people who don’t already own a home and aren’t really benefiting from that equity.”

CoreLogic reported that U.S. homeowners with mortgages accumulated over $3.2 trillion in equity in 2021 compared with 2020. The boost in typical home values in fast-growing markets like Atlanta, Dallas, Salt Lake City and Boise also topped the median incomes for those areas, while metro areas where 2021’s home-value increase fell below the median income included Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Detroit.

The National Association of Realtors® estimates that the inventory of listed homes hit a record low in January 2021; at the same time, Realtor.com calculates that the median listing price reached an all-time high of $392,000 in February.

Source: Wall Street Journal (03/17/22) Friedman, Nicole

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