Homeowner Equity Continues to Rise, Jumps $871B in 3Q

The total amount of equity controlled by U.S. homeowners continued its steady climb in the third quarter of 2017, with an $871 billion gain from the same time last year.

That’s an 11.8% increase from the third quarter of 2016, according to the most recent data from real estate analysts CoreLogic — the largest year-over-year jump in more than three years.

“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,” CoreLogic chief economist Frank Nothaft said in announcing the results.

On the flip side, negative equity — or the measure of homes that are underwater — maintained its slide: The total value of negative equity sat at $275.7 billion in the third quarter, down $9.1 billion from the previous quarter and $9.5 billion from this time last year. The most recent quarter’s results mean that 4.9% of U.S. homes have underwater mortgages, down significantly from the record of 26% of mortgaged homes in the third quarter of 2009.

Certain states remain hotbeds of negative equity, however, with 10.1% of Louisiana residential mortgages underwater and 9.0% of homes with negative equity in Miami. 

As in previous reports, CoreLogic noted that certain states in the West continue to drive large chunks of the equity growth: Hawaiian homeowners led the way with an average equity gain of $45,000 over the past year, followed closely by Washington state with $40,000, California with $37,000, and Utah and Massachusetts tied at $25,000.

“While homeowner equity is rising nationally, there are wide disparities by geography,” Frank Martell, CoreLogic president and CEO, said in a statement.

“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.”

Check out the full report at CoreLogic’s website.

Written by Alex Spanko

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