Equity rich homes rise as underwater level drops

by Steve Randall04 May 2017
The number of homes with at least 50% equity has risen by 1.4 million in the year to the end of Q1, 2017 while the number of underwater homes dropped 1.2 million.

Figures from ATTOM Data Solutions show that there were more than 13.7 million equity-rich homes, 24.3% of all US homes with a mortgage (up from 22% a year earlier); there were almost 5.5 million underwater, 9.7% of all homes with a mortgage (down from 12% a year earlier).

However, on a quarter-to-quarter basis there was a rise in the number of homes valued at least 25% below their combined loan value (up from 5.4 to 5.5 million) while the number of equity-rich homes slipped from 13.9 to 13.7 million.

"While negative equity continued to trend steadily downward in the first quarter, it remains stubbornly high in often-overlooked pockets of the housing market," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. "For example, we continue to see one in five properties seriously underwater in several Rust Belt cities along with Las Vegas and central Florida. Additionally, close to one-third of homes valued below $100,000 are still seriously underwater.

The areas with the highest share of underwater homes were Nevada (18.9% of all homes with a mortgage), Ohio (17.1%), Illinois (16.5%), Louisiana (16.4%) and Missouri (14.5%).

Those states with the highest share of equity rich homes were Hawaii (38.4%), California (35.8%), New York (34.6%), Vermont (32.8%) and Oregon (31.3%).

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