Rising home values drive homeowner equity gains

CoreLogic said the third-quarter increase in homeowner equity was the largest in more than three years

Rising home values drive homeowner equity gains
Equity among homeowners with mortgages, which represents about 63% of all homeowners, increased 11.8% year over year during the third quarter, according to an analysis released by CoreLogic. The increase represents a gain of $870.6 billion since the third quarter of 2016.

On average, homeowner equity increased $14,888 year over year in the third quarter. While all states recorded equity increases, Western states posted the biggest gains. Homeowners in Washington saw an average gain of about $40,000, while California homeowners gained approximately $37,000 on average.

Along with the increase in equity came a decrease in the number of underwater homes. During the third quarter, the figure fell 9% to 2.5 million homes on a quarter-over-quarter basis. The total number of home in negative equity represents 4.9% of all mortgaged properties. Compared to the same quarter in 2016, negative equity fell 22% from 3.2 million homes, or 6.3% of all mortgaged properties.

“Homeowner equity increased by almost $871 billion over the last 12 months, the largest increase in more than three years,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said. “This increase is primarily a reflection of rising home prices, which drives up home values, leading to an increase in home equity positions and supporting consumer spending.”

“While homeowner equity is rising nationally, there are wide disparities by geography,” CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell said. “Hot markets like San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver boast very high levels of increased home equity. However, some markets are lagging behind due to weaker economies or lingering effects from the Great Recession. These include large markets such as Miami, Las Vegas, and Chicago, but also many small- and medium-sized markets such as Scranton, Pa., and Akron, Ohio.”

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