Atlanta earned a blue ribbon in Q4 2018 by having the highest home value growth rate in the country, according to Zillow’s latest Home Value Index.
With a +13.2% home value growth rate in Q4 2018, Atlanta displaced both Seattle and San Jose. Seattle’s home value growth rate dropped from 12.4% in Q4 2017 to 5% in Q4 2018 and San Jose’s home value growth rate fell from 16.8% in Q4 2017 to 9.9% in Q4 2018.
Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s director of economic research, sees housing appreciation nationwide becoming “stabilized.” “The exceptions to that rule, however, are the metros that have seen the fastest appreciation over the past few years (metros such as Seattle and San Jose), where home values have far outpaced incomes. Employment growth continues, but…a homebuyer’s willingness and ability to outbid each other is falling back fast. We expect continued slowdowns in expensive coastal markets.”
Nationwide, the typical home is now worth $223,900, an increase of +7.6% from last year, according to Zillow. That being said, appreciation rates have dropped in more than half of the country’s 35 largest metro markets since 2017. More than one industry expert is now speculating out loud that the sustained period of growth the housing market has been experiencing over the past several years may be approaching its tipping point.
One other data point worth mentioning…the number of homes for sale in the country fell -0.4% at the end of December, after three straight months of increasing inventories.
Olsen’s comment about this slight inventory decrease, “…perhaps the pendulum hasn’t fully swung to favoring buyers for this year’s shopping season…”