The Federal Reserve released a report which indicates that the value of US owner-occupied homes increased to a new record level, $26.1 trillion for the first quarter of 2019.

This gain tracks with the home value appreciation in home prices for the last year, representing a 4.3% increase from the prior-year period. Nonetheless, according to the report, this represents the slowest annualized increase since 2012.

According to the report, Americans own just over 60% of their homes for the first quarter of 2019. This represents also the highest level of equity since 2002.

The strengthening the economy, in addition to lower mortgage rates, continue to be reflected in home price gains.

Economists will continue to track these metrics assiduously since they usually translate into increased consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of the US economy.

According to Freddie Mac, Americans converted $19 billion of their home equity into cash during the first quarter of 2019. This is not as large as the prior-year quarter, which came out to $22.7 billion.

The good news regarding these cash-outs during the first quarter is they are nowhere near as much as was seen just prior to the crash in 2006, when Americans converted $80.7 billion into cash.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency,, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

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