Home Sellers Are Making Bank in Today’s Market

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Home sellers are making bank in today’s market, realizing an average profit of 24.1 percent, or $39,900, in 2016, according to a recent study.

Denver, COSellers on the West Coast—where home prices have skyrocketed since the recession—saw higher returns. Sellers in Oakland, California took home the highest profits at 78 percent, or $235,000.

Duration is key. The average seller turning a $39,900 profit, the analysis shows, held on to their home for seven years and five months. The average seller in Oakland hung on to their home for seven years and three months.

The top 10 markets:

City Median Years Owned Dollar Gain on Sale Annual Dollar Gain on Sale Percent Gain on Sale
Oakland, CA 7 years,
3 months
$235,000 $33,913 78.0%
Portland, OR 9 years,
1 month
$145,026 $16,714 64.7%
San Jose, CA 9 years,
8 months
$271,150 $30,562 56.5%
Denver, CO 7 years,
7 months
$119,500 $18,162 56.0%
Los Angeles, CA 9 years,
8 months
$200,000 $23,200 53.7%
Sacramento, CA 6 years,
11 months
$82,500 $12,000 53.6%
Seattle, WA 9 years,
2 months
$185,000 $20,840 53.1%
Philadelphia, PA 7 years,
11 months
$40,225 $4,194 51.7%
New Orleans, LA 8 years,
7 months
$81,000 $10,475 51.5%
Boston, MA 7 years,
10 months
$182,500 $25,036 49.6%

“The housing market can change a lot in 10 years, and you see that reflected in this top 10 list,” says economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions people will make in their lifetime, and it really paid off for sellers in these cities. Every city on this list has been growing extremely fast over the past decade, with the majority passing peak home value hit during the housing bubble.”

The ability to amass wealth over the long term makes real estate the No. 1 investment for most Americans, despite proven results from stocks and other vehicles.

“It’s extremely difficult to time the market, but if you’re a longtime homeowner in one of these cities, you could potentially see a great return on your investment,” Gudell says.