Equity continues to build for the majority of homeowners with mortgages, with another $227 billion added in the third quarter of this year, according to a recent analysis by CoreLogic. Year-over-year, equity has grown 10.8 percent, or by $726 billion—a figure that equals $12,500 per home.
“Home equity rose by $12,500 for the average homeowner over the last four quarters,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “There was wide geographic variation, with homeowners in California, Oregon and Washington gaining an average of at least $25,000 in home equity wealth, while owners in Alaska, North Dakota and Connecticut had small declines, on average.”
The states and metropolitan areas with the most homes with positive equity in the third quarter, according to the analysis:
- Texas (98.4 percent)
- Alaska (98.1 percent)
- Colorado (97.9 percent)
- Utah (97.9 percent)
- Washington (97.9 percent)
- San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif. (99.4 percent)
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (98.5 percent)
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. (98.4 percent)
- Los Angeles-Long-Beach-Glendale, Calif. (96.9 percent)
- Boston, Mass. (95.3 percent)
The states and metropolitan areas with the most homes with negative equity in the third quarter:
- Nevada (14.2 percent)
- Florida (12.5 percent)
- Illinois (10.6 percent)
- Arizona (10.6 percent)
- Rhode Island (10 percent)
- Miami-Miami-Beach-Kendall, Fla. (17 percent)
- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (16.2 percent)
- Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Illinois (12.2 percent)
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W. Va. (8.7 percent)
- New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (5.1 percent)
The newest members of the “equity stacked” include the 384,000 homeowners who transitioned out of underwater status in the third quarter. These homeowners, according to the analysis, add to the 93.7 percent total of homes now with positive equity. The percentage of homeowners still underwater is receding, down 10.7 percent quarter-over-quarter and 24.1 percent year-over-year.
What is causing the regain in equity? A combination of factors, says Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.
“Price appreciation is the main ingredient for home equity wealth creation, and home prices rose 5.8 percent in the year ending September 2016 according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index,” says Nallathambi. “Paydown of principal is the second key component of equity-building. Many homeowners have refinanced into shorter-term loans, such as a 15-year loan, and by doing so, they have significantly fewer mortgage payments and are able to build equity wealth faster.”
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