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August experienced increasing U.S. home values, being driven by the pressure build-up due to this summer’s housing inventory shortage. According to the August Zillow® Real Estate Market Report, the month saw the biggest month-over-month increase in nearly seven years—up 0.7 percent from July to an average of $256,663.

Year-over-year, home values increased 5.1 percent—the largest annual increase since March 2019. Which markets experienced the biggest growth? According to the report: Phoenix (10.5 percent), San Jose (10.3 percent) and Seattle (9.2 percent). Meanwhile, the following markets experienced the smallest YoY home value gains: Chicago (1.9 percent), New York (2.3 percent) and San Francisco (2.7 percent).

“American home shoppers faced an historic shortage of listings to choose from this summer, and that scarcity is now reflected in rapidly appreciating home values after a sluggish start to the home shopping season this spring,” said Zillow economist Jeff Tucker. “Builders are racing to catch up with demand, and rising prices should encourage more potential sellers to come off the sidelines and list. Still, the shortage of inventory should keep housing markets unusually tilted in sellers’ favor this autumn.”

Homes are still flying off the market—a listing’s typical time on the market was 14 days as of the week ending Sept. 12. Compared to last year, that’s 14 days faster.

What about the rental markets? According to Zillow, the U.S. has seen rent price appreciation decline every month since the start of the pandemic. From February to August, year-over-year rent growth decreased 3.8 percent. And from July, rent growth decreased 0.3 percent—the largest monthly decrease since September 2017.

“Rents softened further this August, especially in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area,” Tucker said. “Rental demand has been battered by still-elevated unemployment as well as some renters opting out of expensive markets with their ability to work remotely during the pandemic. The rental market may also be feeling an early gust of demographic headwinds, as the bumper crop of millennials in their early 30s begin making the leap to homeownership.”

Compared to last year, typical rent is down 4.6 percent in New York, 4 percent in San Francisco and 3.8 percent in San Jose. In Boston, which is the fifth most expensive metro within the top 50, according to Zillow, rents decreased 2.8 percent since last year. Typical rents in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Austin, Houston, and Denver also declined since last year.

Some areas, however, are seeing strong rental growth numbers. Memphis, for example, had an 8.3 percent rent appreciation since last year, and Phoenix posted 1.1 percent MoM growth in August after reporting negative figures in April and May.

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