The combination of rising profits and record prices came during a year when the national housing market fended off damage that afflicted wide swaths of the U.S. economy after the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 began spreading across the country in February.
Millions of businesses temporarily or permanently closed or cut back. But a housing market boom that began in 2012 continued into its ninth year as buyers relatively unaffected financially by the pandemic – including a cluster looking to escape virus-prone urban areas – chased a declining supply of houses and pushed prices ever higher.
“Last year marked a unique year in the history of home prices and profits in the United States. A once-in-a-century health crisis tore through much of the nation’s economy but seemed to have the opposite effect on the housing market,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Demand remained strong as people who could afford the space and relative safety of single-family homes did just that, aided by super-low mortgage rates and a strong stock market. But they went after a narrowing supply of housing stock, so prices soared and so did seller profits. While it’s unclear how long that will last, in the annals of history, there will be few years recorded as better for sellers.”
Those in western states continued to reap the highest returns on investment.
Since the U.S. housing market began recovering in 2012 from the Great Recession of the late 2000s, the national median home price has risen 72.3 percent.