Real Estate

CoreLogic: Another quarter million homes no longer underwater on the mortgage

More Americans regain equity stake in their properties

It's a happy holidays to more than a quarter million more Americans who can now sell their home, not at a loss, but at a profit.

Mortgage data tracker and analytics firm CoreLogic today released its Q3 2017 home equity analysis and found 260,000 mortgaged properties regained equity between the second and third quarters of 2017.

That's among the 63% of all homeowners with a mortgage, data from CoreLogic tracks.

Americans collectively enjoyed an equity increase of 11.8% year-over-year, a gain of $870.6 billion since the third quarter of 2016.

“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.”

On a quarterly basis, the total number of mortgaged homes in negative equity decreased 9% to 2.5 million homes. Annually, negative equity decreased 22%.

Negative equity, or “underwater,” applies to borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Negative equity peaked at 26% of mortgaged residential properties in the fourth quarter of 2009 based on CoreLogic equity data analysis, which began in the third quarter of 2009.

“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, Pennsylvania and Akron, Ohio.”

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