Homeowners are getting richer. In the fourth quarter of 2018, about one-quarter of all properties with a mortgage were considered “equity rich,” meaning the amount owed on the property was 50 percent or less of the home’s estimated market value, according to research from ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate research firm.
Some home sellers are deciding it’s a good time to cash in on their gains. Sellers in San Francisco saw the highest gains at sale in January, selling for an average of $325,000 more than that they originally paid, according to ATTOM’s research. That amounts to a 73 percent return, on average, on the typical homeowner’s original purchase price in that area.
Homeowners in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., market saw the next highest gain at sale—$218,000 higher than the original purchase price, or an average 56.6 percent return. In San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif., homeowners saw an average gain of $164,000 above what they originally paid (a 43.6 percent return), while owners in Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., saw $160,000 in gains (a 62.7 percent return).