2021 was a year of great upheaval for the housing market, according to new figures from the National Association of Realtors. The median home sale price for the year was $346,900, which is a growth of 16.9 percent from 2020. Home sales were also up, with 6.12 million being sold, an 8.5 percent increase from the previous year. By the end of the year, the unsold inventory of homes fell to a record low of 910,000. Chief economist of the National Association of Realtors Lawrence Yun anticipates a decline in annual home sales for 2022. This is in part due to a rise in mortgage rates. Yun also says that more homes will go on sale during the spring home-selling season, which is a relief to would-be buyers. This new supply is clearly needed, as upgraders buying new homes will free up existing inventory for first-time buyers, Mike Fratantoni, SVP and chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association
I've written extensively about home prices in Lincoln, which have hit records several years running. As of Nov. 30, the median home price in the Capital City was $236,000, up 14% over last year.
Home prices, of course, are going up just about everywhere, including throughout Nebraska. A recent report from the Omaha branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City shows just how much.
According to the report, median home prices in the state passed the $200,000 mark for the first time in March of last year and have continued to surge.
From the beginning of 2020 to the end of October 2021, prices statewide rose 26%. That followed a more than 30% gain from 2015-2019, which was the largest five-year gain this century. Since the beginning of 2015, the median home value in Nebraska has risen by $67,000.
As the report points out, the rise in prices is largely driven by an increase in demand and a decrease in supply. The pandemic actually increased housing demand, as government stimulus payments helped keep household income high during the early months and a booming economy in the later stages led to wage gains for many.
Continued low interest rates have also driven demand, although those attractive interest rates have been offset by the surging prices. According to the report, the average monthly payment for a new mortgage in October 2021 was $924, which is an all-time high, despite financing costs being near all-time lows.
The report, which you can find at
www.kansascityfed.org/omaha/nebraska-economist, says that demand for homes in Nebraska is expected to remain stable this year, which means the pace and cost of home construction could play a key role in housing prices and affordability going forward. Housing construction picking up
One of the things the Federal Reserve points out is that housing construction is picking up, especially in the state's metro areas. In Douglas, Lancaster and Sarpy counties, single-family home building is at its highest level in more than 15 years, and construction of apartments is at an all-time high.
Those numbers are borne out locally in building permits filed in 2021.
Builders filed 845 permits for single-family homes last year, the highest one-year total in Lincoln since 2005. The number of town home permits filed, 371, also was the most since 2005.
Apartment developers filed nearly 1,300 permits, which appears to be an all-time record. It's definitely the most in a year since at least 2004.
The housing permits came in a record year for building permit value. Lincoln passed $1 billion in permits for the first time ever, finishing the year with just over $1.2 billion in permits.
One of the drivers of the demand for housing in Lincoln, and the state as a whole, is that people continue to move here.
According to the U.S. Census, Lincoln added nearly 33,000 people from 2011-2020 and Lancaster County as a whole added about 37,000. While some of that growth is due to new births outpacing deaths, a lot of it comes from people moving to Lincoln, either from elsewhere in Nebraska or from outside the state. Nebraska as a whole added about 135,000 people over the past decade.
The Census is probably the best source of who's moving here, but it's fun to see what kind of data moving companies release this time of year.
For example, according to United Van Lines, Nebraska ranked 10th highest for most people moving out, with 56% of the company's Nebraska moves involving people leaving the state.
On the other hand, U-Haul said Nebraska ranked 20th for most inbound moves. People moving into the state using U-Haul grew 7% in 2021, and just slightly over half of the company's Nebraska moves were people moving into the state.
The top city in the state to which people moved using a U-Haul truck or trailer was Bellevue. Other net-gain cities included Beatrice, Elkhorn, Columbus, North Platte and Papillion.
What do these two studies tell us? Probably nothing. Or they may show that wealthier people who can afford a full-service move are moving out of the state, while people who can only afford to do it themselves are moving in.
Listing the lists
Regular readers of this column know I like to end it with a rundown of recent rankings of Lincoln and/or Nebraska in national reports. The latest:
* Fifth-best state capital for safety and more (
* Fifth-worst city for cheese lovers (
Check out new construction in Lincoln
Construction at 1222 P St.
Construction crews work on the old Swanson Russell building at 1222 P St. in downtown Lincoln on Sept. 18.
48th and Leighton development
An iron worker guides an I-beam into place in June at one of the two buildings being erected at 48th Street and Leighton Avenue as part of a mixed-use project that will offer nearly 200 apartments as well as bars and restaurants.
Canopy Street construction
A multi-use development rises up on Canopy Street south of the Harris overpass in July.
Particle board protects walls, doorways and flooring as the southwest corner on the first floor of the Capitol is converted into a hard-hat construction zone in late August.
Scheels Grand Opening, 9/27
The Ferris wheel ran at the Scheels grand opening on Sept. 27, 2018.
Crews demolished the Perkins restaurant on the northwest corner of 48th and O streets in late July. Chick-fil-A is building a 4,000-square-foot restaurant with double drive-through lanes on the site.
The Knolls Retirement Community in Lincoln opened its first phase Aug. 7.
Lincoln Children's Zoo expansion
Tyreese Merritt, with Kaser Painting, puts finishing touches on part of the ceiling in late August in the new giraffe enclosure at the Lincoln Children's Zoo.
UNL Health Center and UNMC College of Nursing
Sue Schuelke (left), assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, demonstrates an interactive iWall connecting the UNMC campuses during tours of the new building on Lincoln's campus in July.
Float 4 Life
Blake and Kathy Collingsworth, who have spent the last 10 years promoting water safety after the drowning death of their son Josh, stand in late April inside the JCMF Float 4 Life National Training Center under construction in south Lincoln.
Ball park construction
Scrapers work in March to shape land into ballfields at Jensen Park, east of Moore Middle School near 84th Street and Yankee Hill Road.
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Work continues in January on the Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science on the west side of the Nebraska Wesleyan University campus.
Doctors Outpatient Surgery Center
Bryan Health built the 5055 Building northeast of the Bryan East Campus. It includes the Doctors Outpatient Surgery Center, a joint venture of Bryan Health and 76 area physicians.
Nebraska gymnastics training facility
A rendering shows the lobby of Nebraska's new gymnastics training facility.
Bryan East renovation
This rendering shows plans for a renovated front entrance at Bryan East Campus medical center in Lincoln.
This rendering was included in a packet of information about the planned office building at 84th Street and Firethorn Lane.
This rendering shows the facade of the proposed City Centre development project at Ninth and P streets.
Storage container complex
The owner of Cycle Works is proposing building five duplexes out of storage containers behind his store, along North 28th Street just south of Vine, as depicted in the artist's rendering.
This rendering shows what Advanced Medical Imaging's expansion in southeast Lincoln on Pioneers Boulevard will look like.
Lancaster Event Center
An artist's rendering shows the covered grandstand planned for the outdoor arena at the Lancaster Event Center.
Lincoln Sports Complex
A rendering of the proposed Lincoln Sports Complex at 150 S.W. 14th Place. A retail building is planned as part of a second phase. The sports complex, which would have space for eight basketball courts or 12 volleyball courts, is expected to open later this year.
This rendering shows what the inside of opendorse's new office at 1320 Q St. will look like.
Speedway Village basketball
A rendering shows basketball courts under construction at Speedway Village in southwest Lincoln.
New parking garage
The city is looking to purchase a private parking garage and related surface lots north of M Street between 13th and 14th and build a new 900-stall garage.
Air Park Rec Center, 06.22.2018
The city hopes to move forward with plans to replace the Air Park Recreation Center with a new building in shared space with Arnold Elementary School.
Rise building, 10/15
LINCOLN, NEB. - 10/15/2018 - Construction in the Hub area of the Rise building on the Nebraska Innovation Campus on Monday.
Black Hills HQ
A rendering shows Black Hills Energy's new Lincoln headquarters building to be built in south Lincoln.
Steelworkers work on the fourth story of the Olsson expansion to its headquarters in the West Haymarket on April 22.
Work is underway in February on Telegraph Flats, the first large-scale residential project in the Telegraph District.
The Kindler Hotel
Most exterior work is done on The Kindler Hotel at 216 N 11th Street. Workers are now focusing on finishing interior work so the boutique home can be open in time for Nebraska's first home football game on Aug. 31.
The Stack Lofts 4.4
The Stack includes 27 market-rate apartments -- three two-bedroom units, 20 one-bedroom units and four studios, some with balcony access.
The redeveloper of the shopping center at University Place hopes to have its first apartments available for lease later this year.
Bryan East renovation
Construction on a two-story addition to Bryan East Campus got underway in early February. The $47 million project will be done in several phases and take approximately three years to complete.
This rendering shows potential streetscape improvements along Q Street in front of the proposed Lied Place Residences between 11th and 12th streets.
Lincoln Children's Zoo final preview
The new Wild Kingdom Theater is part of the expanded Lincoln Children's Zoo that opened in May.
An architect's rendering shows what the new Nebraska Cattleman's building will look like when completed.
Fire station construction
Fire Station 15 under construction at 6601 Pine Lake Road in December.
This rendering shows what the Eastmont campus at 6315 O St. will look like after its planned $50 million expansion.
University Lutheran Chapel
Construction crews work on renovating the University Lutheran Chapel in late October.
Mourning Hope exterior drawing
Mourning Hope will relocate to South Folsom Street next to the Willard Community Center as soon as construction on its new facility is complete.
Prison Open House 3.22
The new, 160-bed women's unit at the Community Corrections Center-Lincoln was built to be a therapeutic space. It features earth tones, natural lighting and wood throughout the building.
Wilderness Nature Camp
The Lincoln Parks Foundation is raising money to build a new Wilderness Nature Camp building at Pioneers Park Nature Center.
Great Plains Beef
This rendering shows Great Plains Beef's planned new administration building at 84th Street and Havelock Avenue.
300 N. 48th Street
A Spectrum retail store will be the first tenant for a retail building under construction at the former Skate Zone site at 300 N. 48th St. Construction on a hotel at the site is likely to start in the next two to three months.
Tommy's Express Car Wash
Workers put together the red, steel frame for Tommy's Express Car Wash north of 70th and O Streets in November. The site was formerly home to Texas T-Bone and Lone Star Steakhouse, among other restaurants.
Lied Place Residences
A 300-foot mobile crane sits ready to erect a 280-foot tower crane at the site of the future Lied Place Residences in November.
Mourning Hope Grief Center
The new Mourning Hope Grief Center takes shape in December on South Folsom Street next to the Willard Community Center.
An architectural rendering shows the first phase of a renovation project at Nebraska Wesleyan University, which will replace seats in McDonald Theatre.
New football complex
Nebraska's proposed new football facility ties in with the East Stadium Plaza and other buildings on the NU campus.
Sun Valley Lanes
This rendering shows the new bar planned at Sun Valley Lanes.
Campion Development has proposed some changes to its student-oriented housing project at Ninth and M streets.
Telegraph Lofts East rises in the foreground, followed by Telegraph Flats, while looking west toward downtown Lincoln in September.
Southpointe Parking Garage
A parking garage is going up at the end of September on the site of the former Scheels building at SouthPointe Pavilions.
Lancaster Event Center
Water hookups and electrical boxes line the new campground under construction at the Lancaster Event Center.
The Gold’s Building at 11th and O streets has been sold to a real estate investment company that plans a $15 million-$20 million redevelopment that will include a 110-room hotel.
Southeast Community College's Education Square downtown was renovated, with enhanced security.
Nebraska Innovation Campus hotel
An architectural rendering shows a six-story hotel proposed for 21st Street and Transformation Drive on Nebraska Innovation Campus.
Construction on the Olsson building in the Haymarket in July.
There's a healthy use of granite and marble throughout the rooms and public spaces, including bathrooms at The Kindler Hotel.
Lincoln sports complex
Work is going on to finish the interior of the Lincoln sports facility on West O so it can be ready to open in March.
State office building
A nighttime rendering of the planned State of Nebraska office building at 17th and K streets. The four-story building would have two levels of parking and two floors of office space.
Holiday Inn Express
Workers construct a tower crane on the southeast corner of Ninth and O streets on Monday afternoon. The crane will be used to construct a 140-room Holiday Inn Express.
A new $23.9 million Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic being built on the VA campus south of 70th and O streets is the cornerstone of a larger redevelopment known as Victory Park.
A preliminary design shows plans for an apartment building proposed on the block west of Antelope Valley Parkway in the K and L streets corridor.
Mourning Hope Grief Center
Construction is close to being finished on the new Mourning Hope Grief Center in February.
SouthPointe parking garage
Construction continues on the parking garage at SouthPointe Pavillions in February.
Madonna New Patient Wing
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals plans to break ground this spring on a new $57 million, three-story patient wing on its Lincoln campus.
14th and N
The city is considering this proposal from Argent Group for a high-rise development at 14th and N streets. The rendering is looking southwest.
14th and N
The city has chosen this proposal from Argent Group for a high-rise development at 14th and N streets. The rendering is looking southwest.
Part of the new parking garage at SouthPointe Pavilions is finally open, several months after originally planned.
Pershing proposals/White Lotus Group/HDR
White Lotus Group and HDR propose a mixed-use community hub for the site it calls Mural, which would combine affordable housing, retail, a wellness center and central library with murals throughout the block.
Tabitha's intergenerational housing community
Tabitha is planning an intergenerational housing community on the southwest corner of 48th and L streets. The 128-unit apartment complex would be home to 100-plus independent older adults and about 20 students enrolled at the nearby Bryan College of Health Sciences.
Scaffolding surrounds The Sower, a 19-foot tall bronze statue which represents Nebraska's agricultural heritage, on Sept. 23, 2021, at the Nebraska State Capitol, as part of restoration and repair work which is expected to take 20 weeks. The scaffolding will enclose the entire dome allowing the workers to remove and store any loose gold glazed tile while they replace the water-damaged bed beneath.
Car wash construction
Jet Splash is building a new car wash at 40th and South streets.
48th and Leighton
The proposed Comprehensive Plan calls for 25% of the new growth to be inside existing neighborhoods and corridors of the city, like the new apartments being built near 48th and Leighton Avenue.
Holiday Inn Express
Exterior of the newly opened Holiday Inn Express & Suites on Thursday, August 13, 2021.
Mourning Hope Grief Center
The new Mourning Hope Grief Center includes space for other nonprofits.
Lied Place Residences
Developers of Lied Place Residences are still working to finalize a tenant for a first-floor restaurant with state-of-the-art air filtration and outdoor café-style seating on Q Street.
Stairs lead from the lobby to the second floor of the new Lincoln Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic.
Campion Development is starting construction on Liv Red, a seven-story student-oriented housing complex that will occupy most of the block bounded by Ninth, 10th, L and M streets. The project is scheduled to be completed by August 2022.
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals expansion
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals broke ground Aug. 27, 2020, on a $57 million, 112,000-square-foot expansion.
Top Journal Star photos for November
Expansion construction project continues at Lincoln Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. JUSTIN WAN, Journal Star
Construction work continues on the exterior of the Scarlet Hotel on Oct. 19 at Nebraska Innovation Campus. The 154-room hotel will have a roughly 2,600-square-foot first floor that will include education space, a student lounge, conference room and faculty offices. Among the other features of the $31 million project are a full-service restaurant, rooftop bar, coffee shop and a fitness center. The Marriott Tribute property was originally scheduled to open in July, but the hotel's website says it's now set to open in February 2022.
Stand Bear High School
Construction continues on Standing Bear High School at South 70th Street and Saltillo Road on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021.
Rocket Car Wash next to the Hy-Vee in Williamsburg, which is just southwest of 40th and Old Cheney, is one of two full-service car washes under construction on Sept. 22, 2021.
Apartments under construction at South Canopy and N streets on Sept. 3, 2021.
Mabel Lee Hall
Construction of Mabel Lee Hall at North 14th and Vine streets continues on Sept. 3, 2021.
Walmart garden center, 08.23
Walmart is demolishing part of the garden center at its store at 8700 Andermatt Drive to install automated order fulfillment towers.
Kiewit Hall, 6.28
The future site of Kiewit Hall, near the corner of 17th and Vine streets on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus, is seen under construction Monday.
Lincoln Northwest construction
Construction work continues on Lincoln Northwest High School on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
The flyover bridge that will connect U.S. 77 to the South Beltway stretches to the southwest as construction work continues on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
Cooper Park and Park Middle School
Orange construction fencing encloses part of Park Middle School in April 2021 adjacent to South Sixth Street, near where a new entry to the parking lot will be built.
Kiewit Hall, 6.28
The future site of Kiewit Hall, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's new engineering building set to open in 2023, is seen under construction Monday. Abel and Sandoz residence halls stand in the background.
This rendering shows what the interior of Daq Shaq at Leighton District will look like. The island-themed restaurant is scheduled to open before the end of the year in the development at 48th Street and Leighton Avenue.
NE Realty building
A rendering of the Nebraska Realty building in Lincoln. The company's workforce in the Capital City has grown from two agents to more than 200 in the past five years.
A rendering shows the Scheels Center, a planned 40,000-square-foot addition to Lincoln Christian School.
Tabitha officials included this rendering of a proposed senior living apartment complex with 128 units in a presentation to the city's Urban Design Committee. The complex would be built southwest of 48th and L streets.
Union College AdventHealth Complex
A rendering shows the exterior of the planned Union College AdventHealth Complex.
Developers of the proposed WarHorse Casino in Lincoln say they are ready to break ground the minute they get a gaming license.
New facility athlete entry
A rendering show the athlete entry to Nebraska's new training facility, which will open before the 2023 football season.
An artist's rendering shows plans for NorthStar Crossing, northeast of 27th Street and Folkways Boulevard, which The Lerner Co. says will have its first businesses open in early 2022.
Cedars broke ground in November 2020 and is raising funds for the $3.5 million, 3,800-square-foot expansion of its emergency youth shelter in southeast Lincoln.
A rendering shows plans for a modern terminal concourse at the Lincoln Airport, with food and beverage services and access to restrooms and the Flyers Club available to passengers after clearing security.