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How Big Are The Equity Gains For Homeowners?

Posted Friday, December 21, 2018

With $9.8 trillion of home equity in the current housing market, of which almost $6 trillion is available to homeowners, experts view the current equity situation for today's homeowners as being quite strong. However, despite these impressive numbers, there are still concerns on the horizon. 

While the average homeowner saw a gain in equity of $12,400 during the third quarter of 2018, that is down from $16,000 for the same period in 2017. As a result, current gains are the lowest in the past two years, with many housing experts pointing to affordability concerns for many buyers, especially those in major metropolitan markets that are always more expensive. 

However, if you have decided it's time to sell my house during the last part of 2018 or in early 2019, you still have plenty to be excited about. That's because in many parts of the United States, the supply and demand war is still strongly favoring demand. In fact, many parts of the country have so many buyers wanting to purchase homes that it is not uncommon for bidding wars to be the norm, giving many sellers even bigger profits than they expected. 

Though some states such as Louisiana, Connecticut, and North Dakota saw home equity fall for homeowners, others states did exceptionally well. For example, California homeowners saw their home equity increase by an average of $36,500, while Nevada homeowners were close behind at $32,600. And along with these gains, it has become more common for the majority of homeowners to choose not to tap into their home equity. During the last quarter of 2018, less than $64 billion in equity was tapped into, representing a drop of 10 percent from the same time in 2017. 

So while less equity was being tapped into, it has also become clear to economists that fewer homeowners also have less equity available to them. In December 2018, nearly 250,000 homeowners had less home equity in which to tap. Nevertheless, nearly 44 million U.S. homeowners with mortgages still have equity available to draw upon if needed. According to the latest housing market figures, the average homeowner possesses $136,000 in available equity, which is higher compared to 2017. 

If you have been questioning whether this is a good time to sell my house, these figures should indicate many positive signs toward doing so. Even though mortgage rates are starting to rise and price increases in various markets are making it a bit more difficult to let first-time buyers purchase their dream homes, demand is still extremely strong in most areas of the country. Because of this, don't hesitate to consider selling a home, since more and more buyers are eager to make you an offer.