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Published: Jun 07, 2024 3 min read
Aerial Point of View facing South of Music City, Downtown Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
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Aspiring homebuyers are facing a frustrating market, what with high mortgage rates, inflated prices and relatively low inventory. It’s quite a different story for people who were lucky enough to buy before the pandemic.

Not only did buyers in 2019 and 2020 lock in lower mortgage rates — likely around 4%, compared to 7% today — but home prices were much cheaper. From May 2019 to May 2024, the typical home listed price increased by 37.5%, according to a new Realtor.com report.

Home prices in some cities have soared even higher. Nashville, Tennessee, has arguably been the nation’s hottest city in terms of rising real estate values over the past five years: The median home price shot up from $375,000 in 2019 to $588,000 now, good for an increase of 57.1%. List prices in another city in Tennessee, Memphis, have also increased over 50% since 2019, rising from $230,000 to $350,000.

“Homeowners have seen extraordinary gains in home equity over the past five years,” Realtor.com senior economist Ralph McLaughlin said in the report.

Equity is the value an owner has in an asset, minus any debt still owed. As home values spiked during and after the pandemic-era housing frenzy, owners have been the beneficiaries of huge increases in equity — which could come in handy if they’re in need of money via a home equity loan or line of credit.

Data from real estate marketplace and research firm Zillow mirrors the Realtor.com findings. Zillow estimates that the value of the typical U.S. home is now about $360,000, compared to just $240,000 five years ago. That’s an increase of 50%.

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Top 10 cities where home equity increased most since 2019

Over the past five years, home equity is up 50% or more in five big U.S. cities, according to Realtor.com, and a handful of other metros are just under the 50% mark:

  • Nashville, Tennessee: Home equity up 57.1%
  • Los Angeles, California: 55.1%
  • Providence, Rhode Island: 54.2%
  • Austin, Texas: 52.3%
  • Memphis, Tennessee: 52.1%
  • Tampa, Florida: 49.6%
  • San Diego, California: 49.5%
  • Boston, Massachusetts: 49.4%
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: 49.1%
  • Hartford, Connecticut: 49.0%
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