Stock market got you down? Texas homeowners can take solace in average home equity gain of $54,000 – Houston Chronicle

Forex Market Stock Traders

It might not be the best time to check your 401(k) balance, but another source of wealth is on the upswing.

Texas homeowners with mortgages gained an average of $54,000 in equity over the year in the first quarter as home prices marched toward new highs, according to a new report by CoreLogic, a global property information firm in Irvine, Calif.

Rising home values led to a collective $3.8 trillion increase in home equity in the first quarter for U.S. borrowers, representing a 32 percent increase over the first quarter 2021 or a record $63,600 per borrower, according to CoreLogic.

In Houston, borrowers gained an average of $46,500 in equity on their homes. Houston homes have been increasing in value rapidly, with a majority of homes selling for more than asking price.

California ($141,000), Hawaii ($139,000) and Washington ($114,000) led the U.S. for annual equity increases in the first quarter.

The percentage of mortgages that are underwater — ones in which the borrower owes more than the property is worth — fell to a new low of 2 percent, according to CoreLogic. In Houston, homes in negative equity represented 1.3 percent of the mortgages in the first quarter. Roughly 62 percent of houses have mortgages.

U.S. home prices grew by a record 20.9 percent over the year in April, but the gains are expected to level off as higher prices and rising mortgage rates cool the market, according to CoreLogic’s monthly home price index, also released this week.

Home prices in the Houston area rose by 17.2 percent in April compared to a year earlier. Prices in other Texas cities outpaced the national increase: Austin, up 27.9 percent; Dallas, up 25.4 percent; Fort Worth, up 22.7 percent; and San Antonio, up by 20.7 percent.

“The record growth in home prices is a result of a scarcity of for-sale inventory coupled with eager buyers who want to purchase before mortgage rates go higher,” CoreLogic CEO Patrick Dodd said in a report. “Most buyers who closed on their home in April had locked in their mortgage rate in February or March when rates were lower than today. With 30-year fixed mortgage rates much higher now, we expect to see waning buyer activity because of eroding affordability.”

CoreLogic forecasts the rate of appreciation will slow to 5.6 percent nationally vy April 2023. Houston home prices, meanwhile, are projected to to rise by about 1 percent over the next year.

Montgomery County community coming

The Signorelli Co., a real estate company based in The Woodlands, announced plans to develop a 3,000-acre master-planned community northeast of Houston near Splendora.

The project, located about five miles west of U.S. 59 at FM 2090 and Daw Collins Road in eastern Montgomery County, is planned for 7,000 single-family homes, numerous parks, trails and recreation areas. More than 1 million square feet of apartment, office, medical, retail and hospitality space is also planned.

The project is expected to break ground in the third quarter, with initial lots available to builders by the end of 2023. Homes are expected to range from $250,000 to more than $700,000.

Brokerage launches in Houston

Radius, a tech-driven real estate brokerage based in San Francisco, has opened in Houston.

Sharon Seline Wright and Kelly McQuerry Henderson have joined the brokerage to help fuel Radius’ growth in the region and across Texas. The full service brokerage has operations in California, Colorado, Georgia, Oregon and now Texas.

With 232 agents nationwide, Radius allows real estate professionals to keep 100 percent of their commissions while providing coaching, technology and marketing resources to grow their business.

Apartments planned in Magnolia

Audubon, a 3,000-acre master-planned community of Audubon Magnolia Development at Texas 249 and FM 1488 in Magnolia, will soon have a new rental option for residents.

Houston-based Medistar Development has purchased 12 acres at the northeast corner of Audubon Parkway and Audubon Trace for an urban style apartment development. The 300-unit Virtuo Audubon will be spread across nine, three-story buildings.

Construction is expected to begin at the end of 2022, with initial residents taking occupancy in early 2024. Rents are projected to range from $1,320 to $2,050, according to Medistar.

The site will connect with the community trail system and is near a planned regional shopping and lifestyle experience hub. Planned amenities include a pool, fitness center, resident lounge and charging stations for electric vehicles.

A fast sales pace at Audubon, where homes start in the $280,000s, has accelerated the community into its second phase, said Sam Yager, vice president of Audubon Magnolia Development.

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