New estimates from RealtyTrac show that the average homeowner who sold during the third quarter of this year saw a price gain of $40,658 over the amount they paid for their home. That’s a 17 percent improvement and the highest average price gain for home sellers in eight years. According to the Q3 2015 U.S. Home Sales Report, third-quarter home sellers owned their home for an average of 6.72 years before selling. Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac’s vice president, says the gains may be the result of homeowners who have waited to sell while home prices recovered over the past few years. “An increasing number of homeowners in 2015 have been cashing out the home equity they’ve gained during the housing recovery of the past three years,” Blomquist said. “That may be a good decision because the data points to a plateauing market going forward.” In fact, the report shows that home prices are up just 2.4 percent from the previous year, with an average sale price for single-family homes and condos reaching $263,976 during the quarter. That’s the slowest year-over-year improvement since the first quarter of 2012.