Homeownership has its perks. Among them, it's a financial investment. When home prices rise, homeowners benefit. And last year, homeowners benefited in a big way. In fact, according to one new analysis, home values rose higher than the median income in 25 of 38 of the metropolitan areas included in the study. In other words, homeowners gained more in equity than the median worker made in income last year. Home appreciation even topped $100,000 in 11 of those cities. In San Jose, for example, the typical home grew $229,277 in value, while the median income was $93,000. Even in cities with lower rates of appreciation, like St. Louis, homes still increased nearly $30,000 over the year. Naturally, last year's home price growth was atypical. But while most years don't see the equity gains that 2021 did, values do rise more often than not. That means, home buyers this spring will most likely financially benefit from owning a home by next year at this time.