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By GutesaMilos

Home values accelerated in February, marking the last full month before COVID-19 threw a wrench in American life, including the housing market’s sprint towards a spectacular spring. The typical home value rose nearly four percent from a year ago, sitting at $247,084 at the end of the month. This was a turn around from the growth slow down seen between May 2018 and January 2020. But now that the housing market’s spring looks bleaker than the beginning of the year, the accelerated growth may be short lived as demand dips. But on one positive note, high demand and the strong finish to 2019 and start of 2020 may have given the housing market a safety pocket to weather the pandemic.

The last full monthly read of U.S. housing market data before the coronavirus pandemic hit the nation in earnest shows a market that had turned a bit of a corner and was well-poised for a strong traditional spring home shopping season. Time will tell whether that momentum is enough to keep the market afloat through to the other side of the crisis.

After a nearly two-year slowdown, year-over-year home value growth in February rose from the month prior. The typical home value in the U.S. is now $247,084, a 3.9% increase from a year ago, according to the February Zillow® Real Estate Market Report.

U.S. home values have not fallen on an annual basis since summer 2012, and have only done so in recent years in just a handful of the nation’s most expensive markets. But the rate of annual appreciation nationally had slowed in each month between May 2018, when they grew 6.7% year-over-year, and January 2020, when they grew 3.8%.

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