Mountain-West Region Sees Increased Home Equity 

A picture of a southwestern style home, with plants and decorative stones in the small front yard.

© Matt Mawson - Moment / Getty Images

Second-home locations saw significant home equity gains last year as many vacation areas outpaced the rest of the country in home appreciation. The Mountain-West region, in particular, has become the hottest housing market in the country, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Phoenix posted the fastest year-over-year appreciation in December 2021 at 32.5% annually. Denver posted price gains of 108% over its previous peak in August 2006. And, Boise, Idaho, saw its real estate appreciate by 22% in 2021, with its average homeowner equity rising by $64,000 from December 2020 to December 2021.

The region has been growing for decades but the pandemic appears to have accelerated that trend, writes Thomas Malone, an economist at CoreLogic, in the report.

“The region has a fundamentally sound housing market that has had steady population growth and wage increases for decades, making it a reliable bet for investors,” the report says. “Also, it is a logical relocation point for people who are priced out of expensive cities on the West Coast. Finally, the Mountain-West has a relatively strong supply of detached single-family homes that can facilitate remote work and are available at reasonable prices in low-density areas with many outdoor amenities—reasons that have become more relevant over the past two years.”

The top 10 locations for home equity gains by core-based statistical area include both metro areas with an urbanized population of more than 50,000 and smaller areas with populations between 10,000 to 50,000. Further, half of these locations were in the Mountain-West area and close to ski resorts. Other cities on the list that were not in the Mountain-West region also underscore the rising demand for outdoor and natural amenities with second-home purchases, Malone says.

A table showing the 10 areas with the highest average equity increase in the Mountain-West region.