Email FacebookTwitterMenu burgerClose thin

What Is Real Estate Appreciation?

A couple calculates how much their real estate property has appreciated.

Real estate appreciation refers to the gradual increase in the value of an owned property over time. This increase in value can occur due to various reasons, such as shifts in the real estate market, economic transformations or improvements made to the property itself. Appreciation is noteworthy, as it is one of the main ways that real estate investments generate income. Before diving into real estate investment its important to understand your market and how your property might appreciate. A financial advisor can help you analyze any potential investment. 

How Real Estate Appreciation Works

Understanding the mechanism of real estate appreciation is akin to grasping how a savings account accrues interest over time. As a property’s value increases, so does the potential profit upon selling. This appreciation can occur due to various influences like market demand, location allure or economic indicators. Let’s distill the factors that influence appreciation into three key points:

  1. Market demand: When more people want to live in a certain area, property prices tend to increase.
  2. Economic indicators: Inflation, job growth and interest rates can affect the worth of properties.
  3. Location: Properties nearer to amenities, employment opportunities, or in upwardly mobile neighborhoods generally appreciate faster.

Appreciation vs. Depreciation 

Depreciation, unlike appreciation, indicates a decrease in property value over time, typically due to factors like wear and tear or unfavorable market circumstances. Knowing the balance between appreciation and depreciation can significantly affect the overall value of a property.

Consider a property located in an area that becomes less popular over time or suffers because of deterioration. The property value may dwindle, causing a potential loss upon sale. Comprehending depreciation and how to manage it is as essential as understanding appreciation for profitable real estate investing.

Factors Impacting Real Estate Appreciation

You’re not always in control of how a property appreciates over time. Several elements can impact the rate and degree of real estate appreciation. These include: 

  • The property’s location
  • General price level changes (inflation)
  • Interest rates
  • Population growth

Properties closer to city centers or services usually appreciate faster due to high demand. Understanding these factors and potentially consulting with a financial advisor, can help investors make informed decisions tailored to their investment strategy.

How to Calculate Your Potential Appreciation

SmartAsset: What Is Real Estate Appreciation?

Estimating potential appreciation involves taking into account the property purchase price and the expected annual appreciation rate. 

Let’s take as an example a property that you purchased for $200,000, and the market value goes up to $231,854. This means that the value increase for your home is $31,854.

To calculate your home’s appreciation rate, you would have to divide that value increase by the original purchase value and then multiply that by 100 to see it as a percentage. So, in this example, your home appreciated by roughly 15.9% ($31,854 ÷ $200,000 = 0.15927 x 100 = 15.927).

Note that this example shows how to calculate the rate of appreciation. However, this is just an estimation, and it can vary according to the actual rate and real estate market conditions. 

Tips for Adding Value to Real Estate

One of the most important things you can control in order to increase the value of your property is to make improvements. Here are three of the biggest ways to increase value:

  • Upgrades: Implementing strategic upgrades such as renovating the kitchen, updating the bathroom or installing new flooring can potentially enhance a property’s value. However, these actions don’t guarantee increased appreciation due to possible market shifts or external factors. Hence, it might be wise to consult professionals before investing heavily in property upgrades.
  • Energy efficiency: Transitioning a property into an energy-efficient home might increase its value. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, energy-efficient homes can see a value uptick of up to 9%. But, like other improvements, these do not offer guaranteed appreciation, as the results can also depend on various market factors.
  • Increasing square footage: Increasing a property’s space, such as adding a room or finishing a basement, could possibly heighten its value. Again, this potential acceleration in appreciation depends on other market conditions as well.

Bottom Line

SmartAsset: What Is Real Estate Appreciation?

Understanding real estate appreciation is crucial for any investor. Grasping its workings, knowing the influences, and learning the calculation can potentially help guide your investment decisions. Moreover, while appreciation can notably raise a property’s value, it’s equally significant to comprehend factors that could potentially lead to depreciation. With cautious planning and strategic decision-making, real estate could prove to be a potentially beneficial investment avenue.

Tips for Investing in Real Estate

  • Investing in real estate can be a very large investment that you could be on the hook for years to come. It’s important to make sure it’s the right investment for your finances before getting started. A financial advisor can help you make sure that you’ve chosen the right investments for your long-term goals. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • There are a number of ways to invest in real estate. One way to limit your risk is to invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs) so that you don’t have to carry the risk and hassle of managing the actual property. 

Photo credit: ©, ©, ©