The housing market is at a new peak in the recovery, according to a recently released report by Zillow—but whether homeowners will leverage the value is uncertain.
Cumulatively, $1.9 trillion was added to the housing market in the past year, bringing the market’s overall value to $33.3 trillion—a first, the report shows. Since 2012, the housing market has recovered $10.9 trillion, and, today, is $4 trillion above the bubble-era record.
Bar none, California is driving the recovery. In the last six years, the California housing market has recovered $3.7 trillion in value, or 33.4 percent of the nation’s overall recovery—the largest share of the states. For perspective, New York accounted for 6.1 percent of the nation’s recovery—the country’s second-highest share.
Of the 35 major markets in the U.S., four in California, including San Francisco and San Jose, are highly valued; however, when comparing the major markets, New York/Northern New Jersey is No. 1, valued at $3 trillion.
The 10 highest-valued states, according to the report, are:
For homeowners, is it best to capitalize on the gains, or hold off? The future of the housing market murky, says Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow.
“Seen from the rearview mirror, 2018 was a year of unusually strong, stable home value growth across the country, but cracks in the foundation are clearly starting to emerge,” Terrazas says. “During the second half of the year, appreciation slowed sharply in the priciest corners of the country while it picked up in affordable hotspots. Periods of stability often precede periods of instability, and the outlook for 2019 is certainly both cloudier and blurrier than the outlook a year ago.
“Housing wealth may have touched new highs this year, but home value gains don’t translate into dollars in the bank account unless homeowners opt to sell or borrow against their home and, in contrast to previous housing booms, many Americans have been more reluctant in recent years to spend against their home’s worth,” says Terrazas. “Moving toward an uncertain future, that may prove to be a prescient choice.”
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