Another Strong Year Helps Drowning Homeowners

Dated: 01/18/2016

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For the U.S. real estate market, the last decade has been incredibly volatile.

We’ve witnessed a full boom and bust cycle. Prices soared for years, peaking in 2006. However, the price increases were unsustainable, and a bubble formed. When it burst in 2008, the housing market crashed, causing an unprecedented foreclosure crisis.

Since then, the market has made a dramatic recovery. In fact, today’s market is close to being a “normal” market, and for the millions hit hardest by the financial crisis, that is tremendous news.

Last year ended strongly, and strong sales and increasing prices are helping even more homeowners regain equity. According to RealtyTrac, 6.9 million homeowners were seriously underwater (owing at least 25% more than the property is worth) at the end of Q3 2015. That’s down from a peak of around 12.8 in 2012. Nearly half a million of those were lifted from being seriously underwater at the end of last year.[1]

With equity so recovered, many homeowners are taking advantage of their recently gained equity to sell their homes and move-up or move-on from a bad situation. And if you’re thinking of selling, now is a great time.

First, today’s market is still a seller’s market, with demand outpacing inventory in many markets nationwide. This gives you a lot of control as a seller, and it also ensures you can get top dollar for your home.

On the other side of the transaction, mortgage rates remain low, but are expected to increase as the year goes on. That means you’ll be able to afford less home later in the year. So if you’re thinking of selling, start exploring your options to take advantage of these market conditions.

[1] http://www.realtytrac.com/news/realtytrac-reports/q3-2015-u-s-underwater-home-equity-report/

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