Big Home Equity Gains on the Rise in Naples and Marco Island, Florida
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A new report says sellers still reaped bigger gains than they did a year ago. Attom Data Solutions (formerly RealtyTrac), an Irvine, California-based research firm, said Thursday that sellers of all types of homes in Collier County walked away with an average of $65,050 in equity when they sold in June. In the year-earlier month, they gained $48,500.
Part of the reason profits have blossomed in Southwest Florida is that the region has largely recovered from the recession, though area home prices are still are about a quarter below their pre-recession peak, said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of Attom.
“Because banks are no longer readily agreeing to short sales, for the most part the homeowners who are selling now are those who have regained equity,” he said. “Those who have not regained equity, or are marginally above water, are waiting it out.” The rapid gains of the past year are a big change from the depths of the recession, which wiped out equity across the region and spurred tsunamis of short-sales and foreclosures. Negative equity was the norm then, reaching its height in the Naples area in February 2009, when the average seller lost $110,000 at the closing table. Times were equally bleak in Lee County, when sellers lost an average of $109,600 in equity in its worst month, January 2009. Like many vacation-home markets, where sellers tend to dump properties as soon as they feel their net worth erode, Southwest Florida saw its worst pain much earlier than the rest of the country.
Nationally, negative equity hit hardest two years later than it did in Southwest Florida. The worst month in the U.S. was February 2011, when sellers lost an average of $50,000.This slow-and-steady appreciation is a good sign that the overall market is not overheating again Nationally, home prices ticked up at a faster pace than they did a year earlier: 8.5 percent, compared with 7.5 percent in June 2015. June was the 52nd consecutive month where median home prices increased on a year-over-year basis, the report said.
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