And as with all real estate, location matters. Demand, with it, the speed of sales, are especially high in the western and southwestern states that have experienced the highest rates of population growth. The start of the COVID-19 pandemic in late winter and early spring of last year brought about a series of dramatic changes. Initially, public health problems and stay-at-home orders paralyzed the market, as both buyers and sellers suppressed transactions.
However, over the course of the year, demand recovered dramatically. The increase in household savings gave many people more resources to enter the market, especially among first-time buyers in millennials. Meanwhile, the space and comforts of home gained additional value because more people were working and studying from home. All of these factors have boosted demand for housing.
As is often the case with real estate, these trends look different depending on location. Many of the areas that still have a strong housing inventory are places where housing construction has increased to accommodate a growing population. Statewide, Florida is the undisputed leader in the number of homes for sale, with 248 active listings per 10,000 homes, and Hawaii (22) and Georgia (2) are not far behind. In these places, supply and demand keep pace with each other more than in other places.
This makes them more favorable to buyers, since while there are more competitors in the market, there are also more options available. Before the coronavirus recession, Utah's housing market was on fire. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted residents of Northern California and Seattle to seek affordable housing and more space, and an already very popular market grew. The most popular season for buying a home is coming up and the competition to buy a home looks tougher than ever.
The real estate market during the Covid-19 pandemic has been characterized by low mortgage rates, high buyer demand and a historically low inventory of existing homes for sale, a formula that has led to a rapid increase in home prices. The CoreLogic Case-Shiller S&P Index, which records home prices nationwide, grew 11.2% annually in January, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index, significantly faster than the historical average of 3.9%. An error occurred, please try again later. We analyze local average home prices, homes available for sale, new construction, average household income, and mortgage rates to determine the health of housing markets by state.
According to the latest data from the rental platform Zumper, rents in Boston increased by more than 26% in the past year, pushing many locals to look for other housing options. The growing Texas housing market has greatly benefited from interstate migration during the pandemic, as reflected by the high number of new construction. Home prices will continue to rise, although signs of a slowdown could be seen in the coming months as buyers reconsider buying a home. The Housing Heat Index shows how state real estate markets are doing in the coronavirus-driven housing boom and how they could work in the future.
With work-from-home opportunities becoming the norm, the state's affordable housing will continue to attract buyers. In addition, population growth, respectable household income and sunny weather in Texas will create even more opportunities for buyers and investors at all budget levels, despite rising mortgage rates. While others were moving from expensive cities at the height of the pandemic, some buyers and investors are flocking to buy homes in New York to fix current mortgage rates and prices. Middle-class homebuyers who want to move to a tax-friendly state despite the cold can benefit from North Dakota's low mortgage rates and affordable housing.
West Virginia's weak housing market is mainly due to low inventory, new construction, and household income. While mortgage rates and house prices are higher than in other states, these are offset by favorable wage levels. As the domestic economy continues to adapt to the new normal, some real estate markets are poised for growth and stability, while others continue to lag behind. While the inventory of existing homes is lower than in other real estate markets, a good number of new annual developments indicate that construction companies are ready to invest in New Jersey.
Household incomes are also low in some of these states compared to other real estate markets in the country. . .