- Buying a home is a major transaction that can seem even more complex when you don’t understand the terms used throughout the process.
- If you’re looking to become a homeowner this year, it’s important to know these housing terms and how they relate to the current market so you feel confident throughout the homebuying process.
- Let’s connect so you have expert answers for any questions as they come up.
Home equity has been a hot topic in real estate news lately. And if you’ve been following along, you may have heard there’s a growing number of homeowners with negative equity. But don’t let those headlines scare you.
In truth, the headlines don’t give you all the information you really need to understand what’s happening and at what scale. Let’s break down one of the big equity stories you may be seeing in the news, and what’s actually taking place. That way, you’ll have the context you need to understand the big picture.
Headlines Focus on Short-Term Equity Numbers and Fail To Convey the Long-Term View
One piece of news circulating focuses on the percentage of homes purchased in 2022 that are currently underwater. The term underwater refers to a scenario where the homeowner owes more on the loan than the house is worth. This was a huge issue when the housing market crashed in 2008, but it much less significant today.
Media coverage right now is based loosely on a report from Black Knight, Inc. The actual report from that source says this:
“Of all homes purchased with a mortgage in 2022, 8% are now at least marginally underwater and nearly 40% have less than 10% equity stakes in their home, . . .”
Let’s unpack that for a moment and provide the bigger picture. The data-bound report from Black Knight is talking specifically about homes purchased in 2022, but media headlines don’t always mention that timeframe or provide the surrounding context about how unusual of a year 2022 was for the housing market. In 2022, home price appreciation soared, and it reached its max around March-April. Since then, the rate of appreciation has been slowing down.
Homeowners who bought their house last year right at the peak or those who paid more than market value in the months that followed are more likely to fall into the category of being marginally underwater. The qualifier marginally is another key piece of the puzzle the media isn’t necessarily including in their coverage.
So, what does that mean for those who purchased a home in 2022? It’s important to remember, owning a home is a long-term investment, not a short-term play. When headlines focus on the short-term view, they’re not necessarily providing the full context.
Typically speaking, the longer you stay in your home, the more equity you gain as you pay down your loan and as home prices appreciate. With recent market conditions, you may not have gained significant equity right away if you owned the home for just a few months. But it’s also true that many homeowners who recently bought their house are unlikely to be looking to sell quite yet.
As with everything, knowing the context is important. If you have questions about real estate headlines or about how much equity you have in your home, let’s connect.
If you’re a homeowner, your net worth got a big boost over the past few years thanks to rapidly rising home prices. Here’s how it happened and what it means for you, even as the market moderates.
Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan.
Because there was a significant imbalance between the number of homes available for sale and the number of buyers looking to make a purchase over the past few years, home prices appreciated substantially.
And while home price appreciation has moderated this year, and even depreciated slightly in some overheated markets, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost all the equity you gained during the pandemic frenzy.
To prove you still have equity you can use, the latest Homeowner Equity Insights from CoreLogic finds the average homeowner equity has actually grown by $34,300 over the past 12 months.
That’s right, despite the headlines, the average homeowner still gained positive equity over the last year in just about every market. While the gains aren’t as dramatic as they were in the previous quarter due to home price moderation, they’re still significant. And if you’ve been in your home for longer than a year, chances are you have even more equity than you realize.
While that’s the national number, if you want to know what happened over the past year in your area, look at the map below from CoreLogic:
Why This Is So Important Right Now
While equity helps increase your overall net worth, it can also help you achieve other goals, like buying your next home. When you sell your current house, the equity you’ve built up comes back to you in the sale, and it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home.
So, if you’ve been holding off on selling because you weren’t sure what the headlines meant for your bottom line, rest assured you’ve still gained equity in recent years, and it can help fuel your move.
If you’re planning to make a move, the equity you’ve gained over time can make a big impact. To find out just how much equity you have in your current home and how you can use it to fuel your next purchase, let’s connect.