Oregon's Rising Housing Wealth

January 14, 2021

By Josh Lehner, Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

Economists are increasing optimistic on the outlook in large part because household incomes are up, and consumer spending has largely followed. But it’s not just current income, we know asset markets are strong as well. Wealth is increasing, which supports additional consumer spending should households want or need it. While stock market wealth is very concentrated among high-income households, real estate wealth is a bit more broadly distributed, and is the key source of wealth for households in the middle and bottom parts of the distribution.

Given home price appreciation and a rising homeownership rate in recent years, the total value of owner-occupied housing is increasing faster than the overall economy as seen in the chart below. For now this excludes rental properties as some of those equity gains go to owners outside of the region, and the rental income from those properties shows up in the current income data.

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