Number of Equity-Rich Properties Continues to Grow

ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q2 2017 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report shows that at the end of the second quarter of 2017, there were more than 14 million U.S. properties that were equity-rich – where the combined loan amount secured by the property was 50% or less of the estimated market value of the property. This figure was up by nearly 320,000 properties from the previous quarter and up by more than 1.6 million properties from a year ago.

The 14 million equity-rich U.S. properties represented 24.6% of all U.S. properties with a mortgage, up from 24.3% in the previous quarter and up from 22.1% in Q2 2016.

The report also shows that more than 5.4 million U.S. properties were still seriously underwater (where the combined loan amount secured by the property was at least 25% higher than the property’s estimated market value) at the end of Q2 2017, down by more than 64,000 properties from the previous quarter and down by more than 1.2 million from a year ago.

The 5.4 million seriously underwater properties represented 9.5% of all properties with a mortgage, down from 9.7% in the previous quarter and down from 11.9% in Q2 2016.

“An increasing number of U.S. homeowners are amassing impressive stockpiles of home equity wealth, enjoying the benefits of rapidly rising home prices while staying conservative when it comes to cashing out on their equity – homeowners are staying in their homes nearly twice as long before selling as they were prior to the Great Recession, and the volume of home equity lines of credit are running about one-third of the level they were at during the last housing boom,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.

“However, this home equity wealth is unevenly distributed across different geographies, value ranges, occupancy statuses and lengths of ownership, with a disproportionately high equity rich share among high-end properties, investor-owned properties and properties owned for more than 20 years,” he adds.

States with the highest share of equity-rich properties at the end of Q2 2017 were Hawaii (38.3%); California (36.6%) and New York (34.2%). Among 91 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 500,000 or more, those with the highest share of equity rich properties were San Jose, Calif. (52%); San Francisco (47%); Los Angeles (40%); Honolulu (40%); and Portland, Ore. (35%).

States with the highest share of seriously underwater properties as of the end of Q2 2017 were Nevada (17.4%), Louisiana (17.1%) and Illinois (16.8%). Among MSAs, those with the highest share of seriously underwater properties were Cleveland (21.8%); Baton Rouge, La. (21%); Akron, Ohio (20%); Las Vegas (20.2%); and Toledo, Ohio (20.2%).

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