As housing appreciates at a record pace across the U.S., millions of homeowners are gaining significant equity and building wealth, while those still struggling to make home purchases are facing the opposite reality. In just two years, American homeowners have gained over $6 trillion in housing wealth, but those not benefiting from rising equity are being hit with a barrage of rent increases coinciding with higher inflation, The New York Times reports.
Price growth is expected to slow as interest rates surge, but many prospective buyers will remain priced out of the housing market for months to come, especially as demand shows no sign of slowing.
Hard-to-predict events, like a painful recession, could still claw back some of this total, of course. Property taxes can go up. And this wealth is not the same as having money parked in a bank account. To use it, households must sell a home or tap its value through a tool like a home-equity loan, and that’s not risk-free. But evidence shows that homeowners wield home equity in real ways — to send their children to college, to start businesses, to invest further in housing, building even more wealth.