Sign up for our newsletter
North American / the US

Which US cities have seen the biggest growth in prime property prices?

The US prime property market has largely recovered from the impact of the pandemic, but data supplied shows some cities have fared better than others.

Despite the pandemic, prices for prime property in the US grew by an average of 1.7% over the course of 2020, compared with a global median of 0.8%.

Data provided by Zillow shows that, in 2020, US prime property prices – defined as the top 5% of sales prices in a given region – ranged between growth of 10% to losses of 3%.

Spokane, Washington saw property prices increase by 7.4%. (Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash)

‘Mountain west’ and small rural cities were among the best performers, with Boise City, Idaho – where prices grew by 10% – being a standout example. Spokane, Washington saw prices increase by 7.4% over the same period.

Despite a noticeable downturn during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic, the US prime property market was not as badly affected in 2020 as it was in 2008 during the financial crisis, where prices dropped 6.9% in the second half of 2008 alone, compared with an average global dip of 3%.

White papers from our partners

Spear’s analysed more than 15,000 data points collated by Zillow, which looks at the prime market in the largest 100 cities in the US. Explore the interactive to see how the prime markets in US cities have changed over the past 12 years.

Global Growth

Globally, Shenzhen has been one of the best-performing places for prime property in recent years. Prices have increased by more than 400% since 2008, research from Savills has shown.

Prices in the Chinese city rose by 427% between December 2008 and December 2020 – by far the highest of the cities analysed. Beijing was second-placed in the list with growth of 333%, followed by Hong Kong at 184% and Berlin at 154%.

But an analysis of the performance of the US and its two leading cities for prime property – New York and Los Angeles – shows that the top end of the US property market has outperformed the global average, despite a recent dip in the New York prime market.

This article originally appeared on

Katharine Swindells is a data reporter for New Statesman Media Group.