Industry News

Agents, homeowners capitalize on home-price gains

Part 1: The riches of the 10-year real estate run-up

The 10-year run up in real estate values has been one of the most remarkable wealth creators in history. The rewards have been spread around democratically, with as much as $10 trillion in home equity being created in the last 25 years for everyday homeowners. Everyone seems in on the action: first-time home buyers, Realtors, mortgage brokers, office builders, small investors and old ladies giggling as they watch their Fannie Mae stock. These riches are one reason the psychodrama over a housing bubble takes hold. When this much wealth is created so quickly, people scratch their heads and wonder if it is logical, even wondering if it is right. How long it can continue is an important question. For now, this three-part series focuses on how some of the riches are being distributed. (See Part 2: Builders, mortgage lenders at top of housing wealth chain and Part 3: Billionaires make real estate look easy.) Dona Hayes of Home Quest Realty in Greenwood, Ind., bought her first home &nd...

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