How Wealthy Are Owners Who Bought at the Bottom?

September 26, 2019
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Image by Andreas Almstedt from Pixabay

Homeowners who bought low during 2012 could sell really high right now. Collectively, they have $203 billion in home equity. Individually the 2012 homebuyer earned $141,000, or 261% in home equity.

Redfin number crunchers looked at 138 U.S. markets to figure where were the biggest gains in home equity. Los Angeles, Seattle, Oakland and San Jose, Calif., and Denver were among the top 10 metros with the most total equity growth in dollars from 2012 to present. Redfin also assembled charts listing cities with the biggest median percent growth and a ranking of more than 100 cities. 

“The opportunity to build wealth through home equity when prices hit their low point was available only to a fortunate subset of Americans who had enough cash for a down payment,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “And now many people who weren’t able to buy into homeownership during that window of time find themselves on the other side of the housing market coin: Many areas are just plain unaffordable for people who don’t have equity built up to trade in for a new home. And those who are waiting in the wings, hoping to buy a home when the next recession hits, probably won’t be as lucky as buyers were in 2012. Even if home prices do come down slightly, the housing market won’t be impacted nearly as much as it was during the Great Recession and home equity gains won’t be nearly as big.”

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