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Home values in the US appreciated last month at their fastest pace since August 2006, near the height of the housing bubble. However, unlike 2006, tight inventory on a national level played a part in November’s quickened pace, according to new data released by the online search portal Zillow.

The median home value in the US was $192,500 in November, just 2 percent below the peak recorded in 2007. Meanwhile, home values rose 6.5 percent year-over-year, the fastest rate of appreciation in over a decade, says Zillow’s data.

Prior to the housing crisis, home values nationwide were appreciating at about 11 percent at their fastest pace. During the worst of the crisis, home values plummeted 7.4 percent year-over-year, until beginning a steady recovery in 2012.

However, inventory continues to be an obstacle in many hot markets. Nationally, inventory dropped 6 percent year-over-year in November. The lack of inventory has been a large factor in why national home value growth has been accelerating lately, according to Zillow.

There were 1.4 million homes listed for sale on Zillow nationwide as of November — the lowest recorded number since 2010, when Zillow began tracking the data. National inventory has fallen year-over-year for 22 consecutive months, and in November fell year-over-year in 27 of the 35 largest metros studied by Zillow.

According to Zillow, despite the lack of homes to buy, sales have nevertheless been surprisingly strong lately which indicates demand is high. Additionally, when demand is high but supply is low, overall prices typically go up, as has been observed.

Strong job markets in Seattle, Denver, Portland and Dallas led to particularly strong home value growth in these metros. Portland recorded 14.1 percent year-over-year price appreciation — the largest year-over-year growth in the 35 metros in the Zillow study. Meanwhile, Dallas and Seattle recorded 12 percent and 12.2 percent growth year over year, and Denver recorded just under 10 percent growth year-over year last month.

New York City recorded a fall of just over 10 percent year-over-year in inventory. Meanwhile, home values increased 6 percent to $400,000 from last year.

“Home value growth continues to be strong, supported by solid buyer demand and still limited for-sale inventory in many markets across the country,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.

Gudell added that market conditions were very different today than they were back in 2006. “Rampant real estate speculation and loose mortgage credit have been replaced by the sound economic fundamentals we are seeing now,” he said.

Click here to read the entire report.

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