As a homeowner or renter, you may look at the real estate market—which is notoriously difficult to predict, even for top analysts—and decide it’s better to leave figuring it out to
Despite St. Cloud Equity Dips, it’s Still a Good News Story
Dated: September 16 2022
Local homeowners who had developed an agreeable habit of checking online for their home’s latest St. Cloud home equity estimates are doing so less often lately. For years, as St. Cloud home equity estimates rose steadily, thousands of dollars were (theoretically) being amassed by area residents at a dizzying clip. It may have run contrary to the maxims we’d all been given since childhood (“there’s no such thing as a free lunch;” “you don’t get something for nothing”)—there was evidence right there on the screen that something like that seemed to be happening. And it wasn’t imaginary, either: local comparables supported the mounting gains.
But that was then—‘way back in the spring. Now, checking into those online good news vendors is less pleasing as theoretical home values shrink. The retreat isn’t headlong, but still: the exercise seems less worth doing. As CNBC.com’s Diana Olick reported last Wednesday, “Data suggests so-called tappable equity may have peaked in May.” The reasons given included a doubling of mortgage rates and its effect on “the once red-hot” housing market (for most of the U.S., it’s been slowing down). For those and other reasons, “at least on paper,” in July, home prices dropped 0.77%, constituting the first monthly drop “of any size” in 32 months.
Usually, almost any balanced real estate market report contains both good and bad news—even though headline writers habitually prefer picking one angle and sticking with it. So, to be perfectly fair, for St. Cloud home equity watchers to be perfectly objective, there actually was some good news hidden among the numbers.
“Annual home price appreciation,” wrote the President of Black Knight Data & Analytics, “still came in at over 14%” over the past twelve months. In terms of the childhood truisms, in all fairness, last year’s free lunchbox had only shed a twinkie or two—and there remains an extravagantly good deal of “something” for nothing (although canny homebuying isn’t exactly ‘nothing’). Meantime, when St. Cloud homeowners decide it’s time to explore the possibility of translating those paper gains into real ones, I stand ready to assist.
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