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There is no question that 2020 will go down as challenging year in the history books, across all segments of the markets and everyday life. One thing that remained resilient, however, were the housing markets. According to a new report from Radian Group, Inc., home prices across the U.S. increased 8.5 percent between the end of November to the end of December, despite the obstacles brought on by the pandemic.

In 2020, the Radian HPI increased 8 percent YoY, a reflection on the increased estimated values of more than 70 million unique addresses across all single-family property types and geographies.

In the U.S., the median home price rose to $268,655—this is an increase of more than $19,940 in the calendar year. On a regional basis, five of Radian’s six regions it tracks had stronger home price appreciation in 2020 than in 2019. The MidAtlantic region, which includes New York, Philadelphia and the Washington-Baltimore region (areas severely impacted by COVID-19), was the only region to record lower annual appreciation. However, at +6.5 percent, the region still performed well. The strongest performing region of 2019, the Midwest, also took the lead through 2020. The West and Northeast, two of the weakest performing regions of 2019, were the second and third best in 2020. Other than the MidAtlantic, regional performance was similar with all regions ending the year with appreciation rates between 7.5 and 9.1 percent.

“In the end, there was nothing typical about 2020,” noted Steve Gaenzler, SVP of Data and Analytics at Radian. “As the country shut down in March, no one predicted what would happen over the remainder of the year. Despite a global pandemic, social unrest at levels not seen in generations, and a divisive political environment, the U.S. housing market thrived. In many ways, this was a Black Swan outcome, albeit a positive one.”

“The confluence of fiscal policy, monetary policy, the administration, and private sector innovation such as remote valuations, digital closings and many other product innovations, paved the way to not just stabilize housing, but to create an environment for strong growth,” added Gaenzler.