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Tracking Home Equity Growth Since 2012

Redfin reports that people who purchased homes in 2012 have earned $203 billion in home equity. The buyer who bought a home the year prices reached their lowest point following the Great Recession has earned $141,000, or 261%, in home equity. 

The average home sold in 2012 has increased $110,000 in value from a median-sale price of $210,000 in 2012 to an estimated value of $320,000 in September 2019. Redfin states that average homebuyer began with $54,000 in home equity and now has $195,000. 

"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."

The study finds that most of the equity growth can be traced backed to expensive coastal markets, mostly in California, where home values have risen by two-thirds. The average homeowners in these markets have earned more than $300,000 in equity since 2012. 

Los Angeles, California, had the nations’ biggest home equity gain at $15 billion. Seattle, Washington, was second at $8 billion and was followed by Oakland, California, at $7.9 billion. 

San Francisco, California, had the nations’ highest home equity growth in dollars at $741,000. 

Markets with the highest percent increase in home equity includes metros near U.S. military bases: Tacoma, Washington (1,453%); Virginia Beach, Virginia (1,333%). 

Home values in Tacoma have grown 76% since 2012, adding $165,000 to the homes’ value. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville.

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