In Boston, the median price was $320,700 according to Zillow, up 2.7 percent from the prior quarter and 5.3 percent over last year.
The 5.9 percent annual appreciation rate far exceeded yearly rates of appreciation typically associated with healthy markets and represents the largest annual gain since August 2006 - near the peak of the housing bubble. Historically, housing markets can expect annual home value appreciation of roughly 3 percent on average, according to Zillow research. Looking ahead, the company forecasts home values will increase by 3.3 percent in 2013, a yearly appreciation rate more in line with historic norms.
Prices were up across the country, according to the report. Of the 30 largest metros covered by Zillow, only Cincinnati and Chicago failed to show annual and quarterly increases in the fourth quarter. Of the 366 total metro areas analyzed, 254 - or 69 percent - registered annual home value gains in 2012.
But growth was uneven, ranging from a high of 22.5 percent year-over-year appreciation in Phoenix to a low of 0.2 percent depreciation in Cincinnati and Chicago. Seven of the top 30 metros registered annual home value increases of 10 percent or more.
"We expected 2012 to be a good year for housing, and it delivered in spades. Strong demand paired with limited inventory in many markets helped fuel a robust and often rapid recovery in overall home values. We expect this recovery to continue into 2013, but at a more sustainable pace," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries in a statement. "It's important to be cautious moving forward...consumers [shouldn't] expect such high appreciation as the norm."Â
Source: Zillow via B&T