Zillow Group IR Blog

April 2019 Real Estate Market Report

Home Values Dip Month-Over-Month for First Time in Seven Years

  • In April, the median home value fell 0.1% from March, the first time the market has posted a monthly decline in seven years.
  • A more stable metric—year-over-year appreciation—shows U.S. home values up just 6.1% from last April. That’s below annual growth of 7.5% in April 2018.
  • 16 of the largest 50 metros posted home value declines in April and have had flat or falling home values since January, raising our confidence that local home values there may have reached a peak.

The median U.S. home value fell 0.1% in April from March, the first monthly decline in seven years and another signal that the housing market continues to pump the brakes after several years of torrid growth.

The national housing market has been cooling for months, with annual gains slowing to 6.1% in April, down from April 2018 annual growth of 7.5%. The median home value now stands at $226,800, still above last April’s $213,700.

Home values in all but four of the country’s largest metro areas were flat or down from March to April. San Jose, Calif., posted the largest monthly decline, down 1.4%, the area’s sixth month-over-month decline in a row. April also was the second month in which San Jose’s median home value fell on an annual basis, down 2.7% to $1.19 million—still the priciest large market in the nation.

It’s important not to exaggerate the significance of month-over-month changes, which are always more volatile, following the adage that one point does not make a trend. A small percentage change in one month easily could rebound the following month, something that happens with housing data on a regular basis. That’s part of the reason market watchers prefer less-volatile quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year measures, which capture longer running trends.

Still, the data show it’s likely that home values in 16 of the largest 50 metros truly have peaked: Their home values are down this month and have been flat or falling for the quarter. They are San Jose, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego, New Orleans, Boston, Miami, St. Louis, Portland, Ore., Tampa, Virginia Beach, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Houston.

Home values in five of those markets—Philadelphia, Miami, Tampa, Virginia Beach and Baltimore—never returned to heights reached prior to the Great Recession more than a decade ago.

The number of U.S. homes for sale fell 1.7% year-over-year. Ten of the largest 50 metros posted double-digit inventory declines, led by Washington, D.C., (down 31.8%), Kansas City (down 24.1%), Oklahoma City (down 17.8%) and Baltimore (down 17.3%).

In a handful of the previously mentioned metros where home values appear to have hit a recent peak and are declining, inventory is also down in the double digits: Pittsburgh, where inventory dropped 12.2% year-over-year; New Orleans, down 13.1%; St. Louis, down 10.8%; Virginia Beach 13.8%; Baltimore 17.3%; Philadelphia 11.1%. That’s counterintuitive, and only time will tell what is happening in these markets.

Nationwide median rent continued to grow in April for the sixth consecutive month. The median U.S. rent rose 2.6% on an annual basis, to $1,477. Rents grew the fastest in Las Vegas (up 7.8%), Phoenix (up 6.7%) and Orlando (up 6.4%).

Check out Zillow Research for a closer look at the economy through the lens of the housing market.
Zillow Group April 2019 IR Roundup Zillow Group May 2019 IR Roundup