Housing Worth for Mid-Income Households Rose $2.1T Between '10 & '20

Washington, DC, March 18, 2022-A study from the National Association of Realtors-Housing Wealth Gains for the Rising Middle-Class Markets-examines the distribution of housing wealth between 2010 and 2020 across income groups and in 917 metropolitan or micropolitan areas.

Homeownership is widely recognized as the leading source of net worth among families. Housing wealth itself is primarily achieved by price appreciation gains, and the nation has seen home prices accelerate at a record pace during the course of the last decade.

NAR found that during those ten years, nearly 980,000 middle-income households became homeowners. Within that timeframe, total housing wealth for this income group surged by $2.1 trillion.

"Owning a home continues to be a proven method for building long-term wealth," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Home values generally grow over time, so homeowners begin the wealth-building process as soon as they make a down payment and move to pay down their mortgage." 

From 2010 through 2020, 529 of 917, or 58%, of metropolitan and micropolitan areas gained middle-income homeowners. NAR identifies these locations as rising middle-income class housing markets, i.e., markets that saw the largest increase in middle-class owner-occupied housing units in 2020 compared to 2010.