Homeowners should be feeling richer. At the end of the second quarter, more than 14 million U.S. properties were considered equity rich. (That means the combined loan amount secured by the property was 50 percent or less of the estimated market value of the property.)
Nearly 320,000 properties joined the “equity rich” category during the second quarter over the first quarter. Further, the number of equity rich properties is now up more than 1.6 million properties compared to a year ago, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q2 2017 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater report.
The number of equity rich properties in the U.S. now represents 24.6 percent of all properties with a mortgage in the country.
“An increasing number of U.S. homeowners are amassing impressive stockpiles of home equity wealth, enjoying the benefits of rapidly rising home prices while staying conservative when it comes to cashing out on their equity—homeowners are staying in their homes nearly twice as long before selling as they were prior to the Great Recession, and the volume of home equity lines of credit are running about one-third of the level they were at during the last housing boom,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “However, this home equity wealth is unevenly distributed across different geographies, value ranges, occupancy statuses and lengths of ownership, with a disproportionately high equity rich share among high-end properties, investor-owned properties, and properties owned for more than 20 years.”
The states with the highest share of equity rich properties at the end of the second quarter were Hawaii (38.3 percent), California (36.6 percent), New York (34.2 percent), Vermont (33.5 percent), and Oregon (32.2 percent).
On a metro level, the areas with populations of 500,000 or more with the highest share of equity rich properties were San Jose, Calif. (52 percent); San Francisco (47 percent); Los Angeles (40 percent); Honolulu (40 percent); and Portland, Oregon (35 percent).