Those who have been following housing and real estate know that nationwide home prices rose throughout last year, escalating to a record-breaking pace toward the end of the year. But what about things at a more local level?
A new report from the National Association of Realtors shows that 88% of the nation’s major metro areas saw double-digit home price increases between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2020.
And while 161 metro areas saw home prices rise by 10% or more, there were several markets where home prices rose by much more.
In fact, the top 10 housing markets where home prices increased the most all saw their prices rise by well above 20%.
Leading the way for the entire nation was Bridgeport, Connecticut, where home prices rose 39% between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2020.
Second on the list of the 10 housing markets with the largest home price increases was Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where home prices rose by 32.2%. Next on the list was Atlantic City, New Jersey, which saw home prices rise by 30%.
The rest of the top 10 includes:
- Naples, Florida, where home prices increased by 29.9%
- Barnstable, Massachusetts, where home prices increased by 28.9%
- Crestview, Florida, where home prices increased by 28.6%
- Boise City, Idaho, where home prices increased by 27.1%
- Binghamton, New York, where home prices increased by 24.4%
- Kingston, New York, where home prices increased by 24.2%
- Spokane, Washington, where home prices increased by 23.6%
As NAR notes, some of the cities in the top 10 are popular vacation destinations, continuing a trend that stretches back several months of people looking to make vacation homes their permanent homes.
“It is worth noting that national destination sites such as Atlantic City, Barnstable, and Naples, along with small towns within driving distance from major cities like Binghamton and Kingston in New York, all saw large price increases, an indication of the strong demand for vacation homes and affordable homes during the ongoing pandemic,” NAR said.
According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, the organization’s data shows that vacation homes were popular among buyers last year.
"Although tourism took a major hit overall throughout 2020, our data shows that vacation housing still did well in terms of sales," Yun said. "Many people purchased in these areas because they found themselves with new work-from-home freedoms."