New builds drive surge of more than $2.6T in housing market value

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The value of U.S. housing has reached a new peak of slightly under $52 trillion in the past year and is up 49 percent from the start of the pandemic, according to Zillow. Gains were driven in large part by an increase in new construction.

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The United States’ housing value is now 49 percent higher than it was at the start of the pandemic, according to a study released this week from Zillow.

In the past year alone, the country’s housing value has surged $2.6 trillion, reaching a new peak of just slightly below $52 trillion, according to the study’s data. That’s $1.1 trillion higher than the previous peak of $50.8 trillion reached in June 2022.

While a small chunk of that growth has been attributed to the 0.7 percent rise in the value of the typical United States home over the past year, the bulk of it can be attributed to new construction, said Zillow economists.

“A steady flow of new homes hit the market this spring and summer, helping chip away at the deep inventory deficit and boosting the total value of the market,” Orphe Divounguy, Zillow senior economist said in a statement. “Despite the presence of higher mortgage rates, which deterred some home shoppers and kept many existing homeowners on the sidelines, enough buyers remained to keep the market moving. Builders recognized the unmet demand and responded by starting more projects. New home sales rose this year while existing home sales fell, and should make up a bigger piece of the home sales pie for as long as rates remain elevated.”

Zillow’s data shows that the four most valuable metropolitan areas in the country have stayed mostly the same over the past five years with New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston leading the pack. Miami has emerged more recently as an extremely high-value market, now claiming fifth place.

Miami —  where housing values have increased by 86.6 percent since 2020 — isn’t alone among Florida’s cities. Of the six markets in which housing has gained the most value since the onset of the pandemic, four are in Florida, with Tampa seeing its housing value increase by 88.9 percent, Jacksonville by 82.4 percent and Orlando’s by 72.3 percent.

The past four-odd years have seen large population growth in Florida, bringing about a boom in new construction and increased competition for existing homes, driving up their value. These extreme jumps in value have resulted in Florida surpassing New York as the state with the second most valuable housing market, according to the study.

California remains the most valuable state by far though, counting more than $10 trillion in value or roughly 20 percent of the total United States housing market value. Florida, New York, Texas and New Jersey round out the top five most valuable states.

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