Negative equity share fell in Q1 but equity gains have slowed

Home renovations are likely to be affected says CoreLogic economist

Negative equity share fell in Q1 but equity gains have slowed

The number of residential properties with mortgages that are in negative equity was 2.2 million in the first quarter of 2019, a 4.1% share.

A report from CoreLogic shows an 11% drop (268,000 homes) from the 4.7% share a year earlier and 17,000 homes regained equity in Q1 2019. The national aggregate value of negative equity was approximately $304.4 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2019, up approximately $2.5 billion from the end of Q4 2018.

Among the roughly 63% of homeowners with mortgages, equity increased 5.6% year-over-year meaning a collective gain of $485.7 billion year-over-year, or $6,400 for the average homeowner.

“A moderation in home-price growth has reduced the gains in home-equity wealth and will likely slow the growth in home-improvement spending in the coming year,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “For larger remodeling projects, homeowners often choose to cash-out some of their home equity through a first-lien refinance or placement of a second lien.”

Where the largest gains were

The largest gain in home equity year-over-year was in Wyoming ($21,000) while North Dakota was one of only two states to see the average homeowner lose (-$16,000) – the other was Connecticut (-$1,000).

“The country continues to experience record economic expansion as illustrated by these increases in home equity,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “We expect home equity to continue increasing nationally in 2019, albeit at a slower pace than in recent years.”

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