After feeling the effects of the housing crash for nearly a decade, home values last year finally tipped the scales in favor of homeowners, topping their pre-crisis levels. And for 2017, the trend appears to be continuing upward.
According to Federal Housing Finance Agency’s 2017 Q1 House Price Index Report, home values increased 6.0% year-over-year. Even stronger gains were seen in certain parts of the country, including the District of Columbia (13.9%), Colorado (10.7%), Idaho (10.3%), Washington (10.2%), and New Hampshire (9.5%).
Experts agree that home values will continue to rise. According to the 2017 Q2 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, housing experts and economists predict a 4.8% increase for the year. Zillow’s Chief Economist, Svenja Gudell, said in a statement, “Older millennials are reaching prime homebuying age, increasing demand for housing, but we are still well behind historical norms when it comes to building new homes. The fact that economists and experts are revising their expectations upward for future home value growth is a sign that these trends will continue to exert upward pressure on prices going forward."
This rising trend in home values could be an indicator that many homeowners now have equity, signaling a healthy recovery from the housing crash. For those that do have positive equity, now may be the perfect time to either sell or tap into those funds through a refinance. And with interest rates on the rise, acting sooner rather than later will allow borrowers to maximize their buying power and take advantage of more affordable rates.