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Homeownership a major factor in wealth-building

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Middle-income homeowners experienced 68% appreciation in their homes in the past decade, according to a new report by the National Association of Realtors®.  The report, Wealth Gains by Income and RacialEthnic Group, showed middle-income owners accumulated $122,100 in wealth in the last 10 years.

Middle-income homeowners in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area accumulated an average of $302,250 in wealth as their homes appreciated over the past decade.

NAR noted the findings revealed substantial variation and inequality in wealth gains across different income categories and racial and ethnic groups. Low-income households built $275,630 in wealth from home appreciation only, while upper-income homeowners realized a gain of $419,940.

NAR’s analysis by racial and ethnic groups showed Hispanic homeowners experienced the smallest wealth gains, at $335,410. Black homeowners gained $355,620 in wealth, while white owners experienced an increase of $372,000. Asians surpassed these groups, gaining $434,180 from their homes.

Homeowners who benefited from home price appreciation in the last decade were able to reduce their debt by 21%, according to the report.

As part of the report, NAR identified the top 10 U.S. metro areas where Black homeowners recorded the largest wealth gain over the past 10 years. The list included Black households in Bellingham; Ocala, Florida, Palm Bay, Florida; Modesto, California; Greeley, Colorado; and Charleston, South Carolina. Owners in these areas accumulated more than $125,000 during the past 10 years.

“This analysis shows how homeownership is a catalyst for building wealth for people from all walks of life,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “A mortgage is often considered a forced savings account that helps homeowners build a net worth about 40 times higher than that of a renter.”

NAR released the report last month during its 2023 Realtor® Broker Summit and as part of its observation of Fair Housing Month.

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