The median net worth of Seattle-area homeowners was around $1 million in 2021
You’ve probably heard that the rich got richer during the pandemic. According to Forbesthe 400 richest Americans increased their value by 40%.
But it’s not just the ultra-rich who are doing well. As home prices skyrocketed in various parts of the country, many people who already owned a home likely have much higher net worth today than before the pandemic. This is certainly true in the Seattle area.
Median homeowner net worth here jumped more than $160,000 from 2019 to 2021, according to Acxiom, a Conway, Arkansas-based database marketing firm that uses data to predict household net worth. In 2021, the median net worth of home-owning households in the Seattle metro area reached approximately $987,000.
The median represents the midpoint, which means that half of the households are worth more and the other half are worth less.
There are more than 900,000 homeowner households in the Seattle metro area, which includes King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The data shows that around 235,000 local households – more than a quarter of the total – have a net worth of $2 million or more.
Although the data does not detail the factors contributing to overall net worth, it is clear that soaring house prices are one of the main factors behind the increase in wealth here. For most homeowners, their home is their biggest asset. And as Seattle home prices soared during the pandemic, so did the net worth of the people who owned them.
It was uncertain whether house prices would rise during the pandemic. In fact, at first, when unemployment soared, there were fears that real estate markets fall. But in most of the country, and certainly in Seattle, the opposite has happened.
Home equity is based on equity – in other words, the value of the home minus any debt, such as mortgage, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit. the property. For example, if your house has a market value of $800,000 and you have $300,000 left on your mortgage, the house will add $500,000 to your total household equity.
Besides real estate, other assets that contribute to net worth include vehicles, businesses, and all types of financial assets – checking/savings accounts, IRAs, stocks, pensions, life insurance policies, etc. . Income is not considered in net worth, so it is possible for a household to have high income and low net worth or vice versa.
Homeowners in the Seattle area rank among the wealthiest in the country, behind only a handful of other metropolitan areas. In the San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas, homeowners have the highest median net worth, at over $2 million. The lowest median net worth for homeowners is in the Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas metro area at $35,000.
The nationwide median net worth of homeowners who live in a US metropolitan area was $377,000 in 2021, an increase of about $80,000 from 2019.
Unsurprisingly, homeowners’ net worth is generally much higher than those of tenants.
The median net worth of about 660,000 renter households in the Seattle area is around $114,000. Renters, who are often young adults, may not have much savings or investments. They can also wear a big debt credit cards, student loans, and car loans, which would reduce their net worth.
Market research data from Nielsen shows there are a number of factors driving the wealth disparity between homeowners and renters in the Seattle area beyond owning a home. .
Renters are much more likely to live alone – 37% of renter households are single person, compared to 20% of owners. Of course, it is more difficult for one person to build wealth than for two.
Forty-four percent of Seattle-area homeowner households have at least two working adults, both of whom can accumulate assets and contribute to household net worth. Less than a third of renter households have at least two working adults.
The median income of an owner household is almost double that of a renter household – $106,000 versus $57,000.
While Seattle-area renters may have less than one-eighth of homeowners’ net worth, they are still among the wealthiest renters in the country. The national median for renters in US metropolitan areas is just $26,000.
The wealthiest renters are in the San Francisco metro area, with a median net worth of nearly $340,000. But in many metropolitan areas, renters have very little net worth. Data shows that the poorest renters are in Mobile, Alabama, with an estimated median net worth of zero.