Cities with the Fastest Increasing Home Values

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Cities with the Fastest Increasing Home Values

The federal government’s recent jobs report provides more evidence that the nation’s recovery is in full swing. January’s report showed the economy continued to add jobs, building on the strong momentum of 2014, a year that rivaled the late 1990s for the number of jobs created.

But a broad recovery isn’t only about unemployment figures. American homeowners saw the equity in their homes plummet in the Great Recession, so NerdWallet searched for the places where home values are increasing the fastest.

Using data from the real estate site Zillow, we found the cities with the biggest increase in home values since 2009.

Key findings

Extreme growth is clustered. Not only are all of our top 10 cities in California and Florida, our top spots are grouped around two distinct areas — Silicon Valley and Miami.

Small and affluent cities. Cities with smaller populations and higher overall home values saw higher rates of growth in home values.

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Tech’s upturn. Seven of our top 10 cites are either in, or are part of, greater Silicon Valley, suggesting that strong tech industry growth has supported an increase in home values and affluence more than any other industry from 2009 to 2014.

Cities With the Fastest Increasing Home Values

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Cities with the fastest growing home values

1. Palo Alto, California

It’s no secret why this city landed at the top of our list. Home to Stanford University, Mark Zuckerberg and other members of Silicon Valley’s elite, Palo Alto’s housing market is fueled by the growth in the tech industry happening in and around the city. One company contributing to the demand for housing is Tesla Motors, which has been headquartered in the city since 2010. The upscale Stanford Shopping Center and the downtown University Avenue area, both bursting with shopping and cafes, cater to this affluent community.

2. Key Biscayne, Florida

This small island town just outside Miami has seen tremendous growth in population, spurred by the construction of luxury condominiums and hotels. This development increased the island’s population density to 10,070 residents per square mile, according to the 2010 census, which is nearly eight times the population density of Miami-Dade County. Key Biscayne offers miles of sandy beaches, relaxed dinning and local shops to ensure both tourists and residents are enchanted by the beautiful village.

3. Cupertino, California

This city is the home of Apple, yes, that Apple, and that explains why housing values here have outpaced the rest of the nation. The company’s stock went from about $11 at the beginning of 2009 to $113 by the end of 2014, a surge in value that has trickled out to the community. This city boasts some of the best schools in the state, with top performers, such as Monta Vista High School, ranking high nationally. The stellar schools, along with the city’s pleasant weather, keep this wealthy community in high demand among families.

4. Mountain View, California

This city claims Google as its largest employer and economic engine. Google, along with LinkedIn and startup incubator Y Combinator, are headquartered in the city, which borders Sunnyvale and Palo Alto. These tech giants, as in so many cities in Silicon Valley, are behind the demand for housing and have boosted the value of homes in Mountain View. The city also serves as a musical hub with the Shoreline Amphitheatre outdoor venue that regularly attracts a variety of musical artists and festivals.

5. Sunnyvale, California

As the location of Yahoo’s headquarters, which employs nearly 5,000 people, Sunnyvale owes some of its rapid growth in home values to the success of the company. Yahoo has seen its stock price grow nearly fivefold since 2009. Yahoo’s performance, along with growth in the broader tech industry, helps explain why Sunnyvale’s home values have increased 51% to a median home value of $1.1 million from 2009 to 2014.

6. Redwood City, California

This city, with its motto “Climate Best by Government Test,” is known for its mild Mediterranean microclimate. Local officials have worked to redevelop the downtown into an entertainment space made for walking. The opening of shops, restaurants and a theater over the past 10 years, has reshaped the city’s center into a thriving downtown destination. This development — along with the economic stability provided by the headquarters of Oracle and Electronic Arts — also has helped drive up housing prices.

7. Bay Harbor Islands, Florida

The smallest and most affordable city on our top 10 list, Bay Harbor Island had a median home value of $273,600 at the end of 2014, a massive jump of 47% from the beginning of 2009. This island community in the Miami area enjoys a beautiful assortment of shops and restaurants to entertain visitors and locals.

 8. Menlo Park, California

Echoing the pattern found in many of our other top 10 places, this Silicon Valley city is home of another behemoth: Facebook and its over 7,000 employees. In addition, the economy and housing market are supported by the wealth produced on Sand Hill Road, a hub for the valley’s venture capital firms. It’s no wonder that Facebook, venture capitalists and homeowners are all attracted to this prosperous city, with its downtown centered on Santa Cruz Avenue and mild climate.

9. Foster City, California

In a break with the Silicon Valley places on our list, this city is farther north and the closest to San Francisco in the top 10. This peninsula city is newer than others on our list, and its youth is reflected in the layout, which features many neighborhood parks, canals and cul-du-sacs. The family-friendly design, extremely low crime rates and proximity to Silicon Valley and San Francisco make homes in Foster City quite desirable.

10. Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

Known for its annual jazz festival, the Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest, and parks featuring waterfront views, this town is experiencing rapid growth in its population and development. A planned Ritz-Carlton Residences luxury condominium development reportedly will sell units for $5 million with penthouses going for up to $25 million. Projects like this have driven housing prices up almost 40% since 2009.

50 cities with the fastest growing home values

Rank City, state January 2009 median home value December 2014 median home value % change in 1 bedroom prices % change in 2 bedroom prices % change in 3 bedroom prices % change in 4 bedroom prices % change in 5+ bedroom prices % change in all home prices
1 Palo Alto, CA $1,241,000 $2,171,700 57.84% 62.19% 75.39% 65.03% 71.19% 75.00%
2 Key Biscayne, FL $637,900 $1,070,400 37.58% 52.05% 62.65% 61.97% 56.54% 67.80%
3 Cupertino, CA $1,033,200 $1,597,000 81.70% 48.88% 55.40% 52.96% 49.92% 54.57%
4 Mountain View, CA $756,000 $1,159,400 49.05% 50.66% 57.26% 57.79% 50.07% 53.36%
5 Sunnyvale, CA $747,000 $1,128,000 40.66% 46.06% 46.64% 55.84% 48.13% 51.00%
6 Redwood City, CA $733,900 $1,086,700 31.52% 44.17% 49.44% 44.50% 41.65% 48.07%
7 Bay Harbor Islands, FL $185,000 $273,600 30.04% 66.34% 41.46% #N/A #N/A 47.89%
8 Menlo Park, CA $1,141,000 $1,678,600 23.42% 61.43% 45.40% 51.63% 58.95% 47.12%
9 Foster City, CA $789,500 $1,157,800 29.89% 32.92% 45.06% 43.09% 45.80% 46.65%
10 Sunny Isles Beach, FL $272,400 $395,000 46.16% 40.73% 72.56% 96.24% 50.36% 45.01%
11 Somerville, MA $341,900 $495,200 36.50% 39.76% 46.66% 52.41% 49.21% 44.84%
12 Santa Clara, CA $581,600 $836,600 39.96% 39.07% 44.85% 41.70% 42.67% 43.84%
13 Manhattan Beach, CA $1,351,000 $1,923,300 45.76% 58.78% 46.91% 37.66% 28.76% 42.36%
14 Wharton Township, PA $111,900 $159,000 41.77% 33.58% 34.85% 42.73% #N/A 42.09%
15 Louisville, CO $314,300 $443,700 30.63% 36.63% 40.63% 38.10% 30.82% 41.17%
16 Rochester, MI $217,900 $306,000 -5.74% 19.86% 43.40% 32.89% #N/A 40.43%
17 Sapulpa, OK $73,800 $103,600 57.73% 47.13% 34.97% 18.90% 32.52% 40.38%
18 Hermosa Beach, CA $935,200 $1,312,100 20.39% 33.51% 39.38% 41.41% 40.07% 40.30%
19 Miami Beach, FL $272,500 $379,700 34.51% 42.14% 57.13% 51.16% 59.66% 39.34%
20 Burlingame, CA $1,161,900 $1,615,700 37.47% 51.29% 38.96% 44.79% 45.45% 39.06%
21 Weston, FL $281,400 $391,100 38.77% 13.94% 43.98% 35.82% 29.26% 38.98%
22 Englewood, CO $180,700 $250,500 44.42% 40.47% 38.59% 29.36% #N/A 38.63%
23 Aventura, FL $251,100 $347,800 43.59% 39.23% 42.48% 58.37% 36.48% 38.51%
24 Cambridge, MA $426,200 $589,800 43.57% 39.13% 36.91% 46.61% 36.96% 38.39%
25 San Mateo, CA $667,900 $922,100 30.54% 36.15% 39.16% 42.09% 42.74% 38.06%
26 San Francisco, CA $725,900 $1,000,800 38.87% 38.38% 45.49% 46.73% 38.95% 37.87%
27 Aurora, CO $149,100 $205,300 5.37% 37.58% 35.83% 30.51% 24.35% 37.69%
28 Cape Coral, FL $128,700 $177,100 -2.22% 17.27% 36.06% 40.56% 30.38% 37.61%
29 Surfside, FL $399,100 $547,900 35.19% 41.74% 33.50% 44.72% #N/A 37.28%
30 Denver, CO $213,000 $291,700 31.47% 38.76% 38.19% 34.10% 34.80% 36.95%
31 San Jose, CA $541,600 $739,000 37.05% 34.47% 37.67% 35.36% 35.33% 36.45%
32 Centennial, CO $250,800 $341,300 23.46% 33.88% 36.66% 35.08% 27.12% 36.08%
33 Wilton Manors, FL $230,700 $313,400 13.66% 39.17% 34.91% 34.80% #N/A 35.85%
34 Thornton, CO $178,800 $242,100 26.11% 30.96% 35.25% 30.43% 31.14% 35.40%
35 South San Francisco, CA $533,700 $716,900 20.15% 34.90% 34.94% 30.17% 21.92% 34.33%
36 Albany, CA $539,400 $723,200 35.36% 37.97% 31.65% 40.73% 43.65% 34.07%
37 Boston, MA $334,600 $447,900 38.24% 35.59% 33.34% 36.11% 40.11% 33.86%
38 Muskogee, OK $43,500 $58,100 16.41% 24.78% 21.06% 18.21% 28.78% 33.56%
39 Rochester Hills, MI $201,000 $268,400 14.88% 28.38% 29.90% 38.87% 30.02% 33.53%
40 Wheat Ridge, CO $216,600 $289,100 6.51% 29.28% 33.62% 33.51% 30.07% 33.47%
41 Culver City, CA $588,400 $783,400 20.70% 30.16% 37.05% 36.52% 41.47% 33.14%
42 Brookline, MA $480,500 $638,800 42.25% 34.69% 32.26% 42.85% 37.80% 32.94%
43 Rancho Cucamonga, CA $328,400 $436,100 9.59% 27.80% 31.30% 31.81% 24.39% 32.80%
44 Daly City, CA $521,700 $692,400 32.58% 27.50% 32.90% 31.81% 28.87% 32.72%
45 Royal Oak, MI $141,700 $187,500 5.25% 26.73% 31.83% 31.97% 31.49% 32.32%
46 Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL $299,200 $395,400 25.70% 25.61% 11.70% #N/A #N/A 32.15%
47 Coral Gables, FL $531,800 $701,800 40.04% 23.36% 30.47% 21.68% 29.79% 31.97%
48 Berkeley, CA $658,200 $868,600 33.84% 35.43% 29.89% 30.53% 37.13% 31.97%
49 Washington, D.C. $359,500 $474,000 16.07% 27.89% 42.69% 35.17% 17.68% 31.85%
50 Lafayette, CO $236,700 $311,000 25.98% 24.34% 31.82% 21.05% 15.50% 31.39%

 

Our analysis

Here’s how we crunched the numbers for each city:

Using median home value data from Zillow for January 2009 and December 2014, we found the percent change over those years for home values in each city. We broke the data down by number of bedrooms to examine how different size homes performed. Then, using the percent change for all home sizes, we ranked the cities to find where median home value has grown the fastest.

There may be discrepancies between the percentage of growth for specific house sizes and the overall growth rate, which is the percent change in all home prices for all sizes that we used to rank cities. The discrepancies are because home sales data doesn’t always include the number of bedrooms, so in some cases, the change in all prices includes additional houses not accounted for in the individual categories.


Infographic by Enrico M Limcaco.

Palo Alto, California, image via iStock.