With Home Prices Still Rising, Here’s the Outlook for 2017
Life + Money

With Home Prices Still Rising, Here’s the Outlook for 2017

iStockphoto/Andy Dean Photography

After a 6.3 percent increase over the past year, home prices are poised to go up another 5.2 percent through September 2017, according to a new report from CoreLogic.

Rising prices have doubled the amount of home equity held by Americans, with the average homeowner gaining more than $11,000 in home-equity wealth. If home prices continue to increase as projected, Americans would add $1 trillion in home-equity wealth to their collective balance sheets in the next year.

Home price growth appears to be leveling off at a more stable 5 percent, after rocketing up and down over the past decade.

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Home price appreciation over the past year varies substantially by state, with home prices in Washington and Oregon going up more than 10 percent each. Prices in Connecticut and Alaska actually fell slightly in the last 12 months.

Even with low interest rates, continued appreciation in home prices is making home ownership less affordable. Home prices rose faster than wages in nearly nine out of 10 counties in the third quarter, according to Attom Data Solutions.

Since bottoming out in 2012, home prices have rebounded more than 60 percent, while wages have only increased 6 percent during the same period.

Part of the reason for the increase in prices is a lack of inventory, as new home construction continues to lag and fewer homeowners put their houses on the market. While the number of homes for sale ticked up slightly in September, it’s still close to a record low, down nearly 7 percent from the previous year, according to Trulia.