Home equity hits record high in U.S.

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(NewsNation) — Home equity is at a record high in the United States as the housing market continues to push home values up, in a good signal for those looking to sell.

Total equity increased 20% to $27.8 trillion in the first quarter of 2022, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Home values and mortgage rates have both skyrocketed this year as the housing market was superheated by a high demand for homes the supply could not satisfy. This led to long lines at open houses, fierce bidding wars for homes and offers above market value.

The median existing-home price was $391,200 in April, up 15% from April 2021. The median price for a new home was $450,600 in April.

There are indications the market is staring to cool off, however. Real estate agents across the country are seeing a sense of normalcy return to the market, inventory is up and homes are staying on the market longer.

“Anything that’s not completely turnkey might take a little longer to sell,” said New York Realtor Lauren Hurwitz. “And that’s OK, because that’s what we had pre-COVID. So while homes aren’t all selling in 72 hours, it might take two weeks, maybe even a month, you know, if you can believe that.”

As the market begins to balance itself, potential sellers are faced with a conundrum: they could sell high on their current homes, taking advantage of high values and equity, but then they would have to wade back into the buyers market themselves.

I’ve definitely encountered sellers that are really hot to sell, but they just don’t know where to go, right? Because it’s going to cost them so much more to buy now,” Hurwitz said. “So at this point, I think most people have a plan in place, they know if they’re going to sell, they know they’re going to be transferring to another location. They’re either buying something bigger or downsizing. There’s not too many people that are still on the fence at this point.”

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