The 6.5 percent increase in the value of all US homes over 2016 was the biggest gain in four years

Washington (AFP) - In a hot housing market, the value of all US homes soared to a record this year, as did the monthly payments by renters, online real estate giant Zillow said Thursday.

With the steady increase in demand for housing driving prices and rents higher, the value of all homes was up nearly $2 trillion, according to the year-end data.

The 6.5 percent increase over 2016 was the biggest gain in four years and drove the total to nearly $32 trillion.

“This was a record year for home values,” Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas said in a statement.

“Strong demand from buyers and the ongoing inventory shortage keep pushing values higher, especially in some of the nation’s booming coastal markets.”

The value is up $9 trillion from the worst point in the global recession, the report said.

Meanwhile, with the supply of homes for sale tight but improving, the increase in rents slowed, though the figure still hit a new all-time high. Renters paid one percent or $5 billion more in 2017 compared to last year, to a record $486 billion, Zillow said.

Renters in New York and Los Angeles spent the most over the past year, while in San Francisco’s famously competitive market “rents are so high that renters collectively paid $616 million more in rent than Chicago renters did, despite there being 467,000 fewer renters.”

The Los Angeles and New York markets each account for more than 8 percent of the value of all US housing, and are worth $2.7 trillion and $2.6 trillion, respectively. San Francisco is the only other housing market worth more than $1 trillion.

Among the 35 largest US markets, seven cities saw growth of 10 percent or more, with Columbus, Ohio gaining 15.1 percent.