US homes worth more than ever before

by Ryan Smith03 Jan 2017

The combined value of every home in the US has never been higher, according to a new report from Zillow.

The combined value of all US homes is expected to hit a record high of $29.6 trillion in 2016. That’s a jump of 5.7% from a year ago. It’s also more than the GDP of the United States and China combined, according to Zillow.

According to Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell, the US housing market is currently so valuable that it would take 400 people with the net worth of Bill Gates — about $84 billion — to buy every home in the country right now.

“So it’s safe to say the United States housing market is pretty darn valuable – worth more than the entire 2015 market capitalization of every U.S. public company combined (roughly $25 trillion),” Gudell wrote for Zillow.

Even the total value of some of the country’s individual markets is staggering. Homes in Los Angeles — America’s most valuable housing market — have a combined total value of more than $2.5 trillion. That’s more than twice the combined wealth of the country’s 50 richest citizens, according to Gudell. The total value of New York homes is about $2.4 trillion — approximately the GDP of France, the world’s fifth-largest national economy. And San Francisco homes’ total value comes in at almost $1.3 trillion.

Rents are also up. According to Zillow, Americans paid more than $479 billion in rent this year, $18 billion more than last year and $97 billion more than the depth of the housing recession in 2011.

“To put this number in context, the total amount of rent Americans paid in 2016 is similar in size to the total economic output of Belgium, and slightly less than the $598 billion that the United States spent on its military in 2015,” Gudell wrote. “It is larger than the market capitalization of all but three U.S. public companies — Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft.”

Related stories:
Higher interest rates raising concerns about home prices in 2017
Housing affordability slips in third quarter


Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?