America’s housing market is heating up again, fortifying the finances of current homeowners and frustrating potential first-time buyers.
After hitting bottom in 2012, home prices took off dramatically before leveling off a bit in mid-2014. In the last two months, though, they turned higher again. The amount of equity homeowners now have — the value outside their mortgage debt — has doubled in the last five years, according to CoreLogic.
The latest read on September home prices showed a 6.3 percent annual gain, a touch bigger than August and a clear sign that prices are heating up again after cooling through much of spring and summer.
“Home-equity wealth has doubled during the last five years to $13 trillion, largely because of the recovery in home prices,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Nationwide during the past year, the average gain in housing wealth was about $11,000 per homeowner, but with wide geographic variation.”
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