In its study, Trulia compared median home values in 1986 and 2016 for the 100 largest metro areas. They found that homes in the priciest US housing markets from 1986 gained value at a much higher rate over the past 30 years, growing comparatively even more expensive rather than converging with other cities.
Homeowners in California metros like San Francisco, San Jose, and Orange County — three of the most expensive housing markets in both 1986 and 2016 — have experienced an appreciation in home value of at least 299% over the past three decades on average. Metro areas like Rochester, New York, and Wichita, Kansas, fared significantly worse, with homeowners getting less than a 90% return on home value over the same period — the lowest figures in the study.
In short: Rich homeowners are getting richer, and average homeowners aren't.
Real estate in the West (in metros in California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii) earned the highest return, taking the nine top spots in Trulia's ranking. Trulia concluded that income growth and new housing construction are likely contributors to the growth of a region's housing market — two factors that are abundant on the West Coast.
Read on for the top 10 cities where homeowners have gained the highest return on home value over the past 30 years.
10. Miami, Florida
1986 median home value: $62,385
2016 median home value: $249,326
9. San Diego, California
1986 median home value: $114,414
2016 median home value: $502,015
8. Los Angeles, California
1986 median home value: $116,061
2016 median home value: $520,060
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