California Captures One-Third of the National Housing Recovery

According to, Seattle, the United States housing market has gained nearly $11 trillion since bottoming out in 2012; California’s housing market got $3.7 trillion of it.

But nearly everyone benefited in some way, Zillow said. As of the end of 2018, the U.S. housing market is more valuable than ever, worth a cumulative $33.3 trillion. Since the market hit its lowest point in 2012, it has gained $10.9 trillion in value and is now worth $4 trillion more than it was at the peak of the housing bubble.

Zillow said the New York/northern New Jersey market is the most valuable single housing market, worth nearly 10 percent of the nation’s overall value at $3 trillion.

But four of the 10 most valuable housing markets are in California–Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego. California is the only state that has gained more than $1 trillion in value since the market fell.

The report also noted the overall value of the Las Vegas, San Jose and Atlanta housing markets appreciated at a double-digit pace in 2018.

Meanwhile, 10 states have yet to regain the value lost during the Great Recession, Zillow said. Despite holding the number two spot when it comes to dollar contribution to the national housing recovery (a contribution of $937.9 billion, or 8.6 percent of the overall recovery), the total value of all the homes in Florida remains $263.9 billion below its peak level. Chicago’s housing value saw only minimal gains, up 1.6 percent, or $12.5 billion.

Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas said while 2018 was a year of “unusually strong, stable home value growth” across the country, cracks in the foundation are clearly starting to emerge.

“During the second half of the year, appreciation slowed sharply in the priciest corners of the country while it picked up in affordable hotspots,” Terrazas said. “Periods of stability often precede periods of instability, and the outlook for 2019 is certainly both cloudier and blurrier than the outlook a year ago. Housing wealth may have touched new highs this year, but home value gains don’t translate into dollars in the bank account unless homeowners opt to sell or borrow against their home and, in contrast to previous housing booms, many Americans have been more reluctant in recent years to spend against their home’s worth. Moving toward an uncertain future, that may prove to be a prescient choice.”