Q2 2021 Sees Home Equity Surge Across U.S.

Home equity has increased across the United States in Q2 2021, with 34.4% of mortgaged residential properties being considered “equity-rich,” meaning that the combined estimated amount of loans secured by those properties was no more than 50% of their estimated market value. This is according to the latest U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report published this month by ATTOM Data Solutions.

“The report also shows that just 4.1% of mortgaged homes, or one in 24, were considered seriously underwater in the second quarter of 2021, with a combined estimated balance of loans secured by the property at least 25% more than the property’s estimated market value,” the summary of the report’s findings reads. “That was down from 5.2% of all U.S. properties with a mortgage in the prior quarter and 6.2%, or one 16 properties, a year ago.”

48 out of 50 states saw the levels of equity-rich properties increase from Q1 2021 into Q2, while the percentage of properties which were “seriously underwater” decreased in that same period of time. Every state observed this trend when comparing figures between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021, the report says.

“The improvements at both ends of the equity scale were the largest in two years and provided yet another sign that the United States housing market has resisted damage to the broader economy brought about by the coronavirus pandemic that hit early last year,” the report says based on the summary. “As the economy has gradually recovered in 2021, the housing market boom has continued for a 10th straight year, with gains across most measures.”

In terms of U.S. regions which saw the biggest equity gains, states on the western and northeastern sides of the country saw the share of equity-rich homes rise. In fact, nine of the top 10 states that saw these increases were located in these two regions, the report says. The largest declines in underwater properties were seen in western and Southern states.

“States where the share of equity-rich homes decreased or went up the least from first to the second quarter of this year were Maryland (down from 23.5% to 23.2%), West Virginia (remained at 19.8%), Nebraska (up slightly from 27% to 27.1%), Alaska (up slightly from 22.5% to 22.9%) and Montana (up slightly from 40.4% to 40.8%).

The smallest shares of equity-rich homes as well as the highest shares of seriously underwater homes were located in the Midwest and Southern regions of the country, while the top equity-rich counties were once again limited to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Read the report’s findings at ATTOM Data Solutions.

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