Homeowner’s wealth drops in recent months but still up significantly from beginning of pandemic

The amount of wealth homeowners in the United States has dropped in recent months:

U.S. homeowners have lost $2.3 trillion since June, according to a new report from the real-estate brokerage Redfin. The total value of U.S. homes was $45.3 trillion at the end of 2022, down 4.9% from a record high of $47.7 trillion in June. That figure signifies the largest June-to-December percentage decline since 2008.

But housing wealth is significantly up since the beginning of COVID-19:

“The housing market has shed some of its value, but most homeowners will still reap big rewards from the pandemic housing boom. The total value of U.S. homes remains roughly $13 trillion higher than it was in February 2020, the month before the coronavirus was declared a pandemic,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao in the report.

“Unfortunately, a lot of people were left behind. Many Americans couldn’t afford to buy homes even when mortgage rates hit rock bottom in 2021, which means they missed out on a significant wealth building opportunity,” Zhao added.

If many Americans view housing as an investment, then owning a home during the pandemic has paid off. Just by being a homeowner at the right time, they benefited.

Hence, I am a little confused by the story that leads with the recent data. The recent drop is just a portion of the big gain from February 2020 on. People do feel losses strongly but the bigger picture is that homeowners have gained much in recent years.

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