ASK RAY ABOUT REAL ESTATE | Do you know the median home price in your neighborhood?

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 1 million homeowners regained equity in their homes in 2015. CoreLogic forecasts the outlook for 2016 as positive as well, as an additional 850,000 properties are expected to regain equity if home prices rise another 5 percent this year.

According to the CoreLogic report, 91.5 percent of homes in the United States have positive equity — a dramatic turn-around since the Great Recession ended in 2009. 

Of the 91.5 percent of homeowners with positive equity in the United States 72.6 percent have significant equity, defined as more than 20 percent. The news is even rosier for Seattle, where more than 80 percent of homeowners have significant equity in their homes. 

Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, believes this is great news for the “long-term health of the U.S. economy. The number of homeowners with more than 20-percent equity is rising rapidly. Higher prices, driven largely by tight supply, are certainly a big reason for the rise, but continued population growth, household formation and ultra-low interest rates are also factors.” 


Increasing prices overall

What’s your home worth? Do you know the median home price in your neighborhood? 

(A note about the median price: Median price is not the average price. The median price is the middle price, which means half of the homes in a neighborhood are above the median price and half of homes are valued below the median price. The median price is a more accurate representation of value.)

In its latest press release, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reports that median home prices increased 9.4 percent from one year ago, partly due to a 25.6-percent drop in inventory over the same period. (Year-over-year prices jumped 11.5 percent in March, from one year ago.) Home prices are still rising, and faster than forecast. 

With spring, the real estate market usually sees an increase in inventory; this spring, we’re seeing shrinking inventory. With inventory so low, it’s not unusual to have more than 20 offers on a new listing, as buyers vie for scarce inventory.

In the overheated real estate market, Realtors are reporting increasing stress and frustration from buyers, sellers and fellow agents. Give yourself an advantage by hiring an experienced Realtor who will help you navigate today’s increasingly complex real estate transactions. 

RAY AKERS is a licensed Realtor for Lake & Co. Real Estate in Seattle. Send your questions to or call (206) 722-4444.