The COVID-19 pandemic has done good for Sacramento owners
Nearly half of the Sacramento area homeowners are now considered âequity rich,â thanks in large part to soaring house prices before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A national study released today found that 47% of mortgage owners in the Four County Capital Region currently own homes that are now worth more than double their mortgage balance, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, a national real estate analyst. (An estimated 20% of California homeowners no longer have a mortgage.)
This 47% figure is a marked increase from last year, when 35% could have sold their home and pocketed at least half of their home’s value.
Notably, Sacramento owners have greater net worth than average homeowners across the country, 34% of whom are considered equity rich, up from 27.5% the year before.
The capital region – Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, and Yolo counties – has the 13th highest percentage of stock-rich owners among the nation’s 108 largest metropolitan areas.
Some of the region’s wealthiest enclaves are leading the way. Tahoe City, where 68% of the owners were wealthy in equity, followed by Truckee, Davis, South Lake Tahoe, the Sacramento City Pocket Zone, and the East Sacramento Zone.
Some older and more modest enclaves, such as parts of Oak Park, Elmhurst, Lemon Hill, Tahoe Park, and Florin, also scored high. This could be because more homes in these areas are owned by long-standing families who have paid off their mortgages over the years, and because others may have been bought at bargain prices by investors during the wave of foreclosures a decade ago.
But the equity wealth of Sacramento owners lags behind California as a whole. Nearly 54% of California homeowners are equity-rich, leading homeowners in San Jose and San Francisco, the two most equity-rich metropolitan areas in the country.
This has created a phenomenon that allows some Bay Area homeowners to cash in and buy in the Sacramento area and elsewhere in Northern California, helping to push prices up here.
The Grass Valley and Nevada City area has seen an increase in the number of buyers of upscale properties in the Bay Area during COVID-19 closures over the past year, said Brian Melsheimer, assessor in Nevada County.
âWe have more activity in the $ 700,000 higher market than we’ve ever seen before,â Melsheimer said this spring. âEach time, it’s a Bay Area buyer. They are capitalizing on their equity (by swapping) 1,500 square feet in the Bay Area for 10 acres here. “
In Sacramento, home values ââhave jumped about 20% in the region over the past year, but have slowed in the past month, an indication that Sacramento has reached its typical summer calming period, but also may -being a clue that the surge in prices increases from the last year may be over.
The percentage of homeowners “underwater”, who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth, has fallen over the past year to 5% nationally, 1.4% in California and 1.5%. % in the Sacramento area, according to ATTOM.
ATTOM analysts say the combination of fewer homes on the market over the past year and low mortgage rates has sparked competition for homes, pushing up the value of all homes.
âThe huge increases in home prices over the past year that have helped millions of sellers … ATTOM’s Teta. âInstead of the virus pandemic hurting homeowners, it has helped create conditions that have inflated household balance sheets across the country. “
But, he said, “there are still many questions hanging over the near future of the US housing market, some related to how the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.”