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U.S. home values gained $1.1 trillion

Staff writer |
The value of all homes nationwide grew $1.1 trillion in 2015, and is expected to end the year at $28.5 trillion total.

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The value of the entire housing stock grew 4.1 percent over the past year, slower than the 6 percent growth in 2014.

The total value of all homes has regained $5.3 trillion since hitting its lowest point during the housing bust in December 2011, but is still $782 billion below the bubble peak value of $29.2 trillion, reached in October 2006.

The dollar amount itself underscores the significance of housing to the U.S. economy. In the third quarter of 2015, the U.S. gross domestic product was $18.1 trillion, $10 trillion less than the total value of the housing stock.

Americans shelled out nearly $20 billion more in rent in 2015 than in 2014 as people around the country set up 1.8 million new renter households and median monthly rents rose at a record pace.

In all, renters spent $535 billion on rent in 2015 – nearly as much as the total budget of the Department of Defense ($575 billion), according to a new Zillow rentals analysis. In 2014, they spent $516 billion.

Renters of single-family homes and apartments spent about the same amount on rent this year, with apartment renters paying $239 billion and single-family home renters paying $245 billion.

Renters in the New York/Northern New Jersey metro area spent the most on rent in 2015 – about $56 billion. Los Angeles-area renters spent nearly $35 billion, and San-Francisco renters spent $17 billion. About two-thirds of the total rent paid in 2015 was spent in the 50 largest metros.

Home values rose 3.9 percent annually in November to a Zillow Home Value Indexv of $183,000, according to Zillow's November Real Estate Market Reports.

Denver home values grew fastest for the tenth consecutive month at 15.5 percent annual appreciation. Miami joined Dallas, San Francisco, San Jose, and Portland as other metros seeing double-digit growth.

Rents also continued their steady climb, growing 3.8 percent annually to a Zillow Rent Index of $1,382. The pace of rental appreciation has slowed over the past four months.

Only San Francisco and Portland saw rents grow at a double-digit pace, as Denver and San Jose slipped back into single-digit growth.

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