Radian: 2019 Home Price Gains Highest in More than a Decade

Radian, Philadelphia, said home prices across the United States rose by nearly 7 percent in 2019, the largest annual increase since 2006.

The company’s Home Price Index said the 6.96 percent annual gain from December 2018 to December 2019, was down slightly from the year-over-year increase of 7.98 percent reported at the end of the third quarter 2019. Nationally, 2019 was the fifth-strongest home price increases since 2000, with only the four consecutive years from 2002-2005 having stronger levels.

The index tracks more than 70 million unique addresses each month covering all property types and geographies.

“While there was a slight decline from what we saw at the end of the third quarter, strong home price increases in the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic region made 2019 the best year nationally for homeowners since before the Great Recession,” said Steve Gaenzler, senior vice president of Data and Analytics with Radian. “We saw the Midwest region start to emerge as a leader this past summer, and the Mid-Atlantic region, which had been near the bottom of the pack until last quarter, surged in the 4th quarter. These two regions really helped to support the impressive annual performance and also illustrate the breadth of market resilience.”

The report noted the Mid-Atlantic region was the weakest gainer in 2018 but rallied to achieve the second-hottest regional level in 2019. The strong housing market in the Midwest resulted in an 8.6 percent year-on-year gain; while softness in the Northeast led to a gain of only 3.4 percent. The South, Southwest and West regions recorded home price appreciation in 2019 similar to those recorded in 2018 (+5-7 percent year-on-year).

Radian also reported strong gains in major metropolitan areas. A review of the top five Core-Based Statistical Areas showed while there was a lower rate of growth reported in the fourth quarter compared to the prior quarter, year-over-year gains were solid. Of the five largest metros by population, the New York metro achieved a 5.5 percent rate of price increase in 2019, followed by Dallas at 4.5 percent. All of the the top 20 largest CBSAs had positive home price appreciation in 2019, with Miami showing the lowest gains at 2.8 percent. Of the top 20 CBSAs, Seattle registered the largest year-over-year gain, 7.6 percent.