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Home Equity Soars, But How High?

home equity

home equityU.S. homeowners equity increased by $1.01 trillion year-over-year in Q1 2018, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Equity Report [1]. That represents an increase of 13.3 percent.

CoreLogic [2] reports that the average U.S. homeowner gained $16,300 in home equity during that year, with Western states leading the pack. California homeowners averaged an equity increase of around $51k, while Washington residents averaged approximately $44,000. 

“Home-price growth has accelerated in recent months, helping to build home-equity wealth and lift underwater homeowners back into positive equity the primary driver of home equity wealth creation,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic. “The CoreLogic Home Price Index grew 6.7 percent during the year ending March 2018, the largest 12-month increase in four years. Likewise, the average growth in home equity was more than $15,000 during 2017, the most in four years. Washington led all states with 12.8 percent appreciation, and its homeowners also had much larger home-equity gains than the national average.”

Homes in negative equity [3] decreased 3 percent between Q4 2017 and Q1 2018, according to the Home Equity Report, bringing their total down to just under 2.5 million homes—approximately 4.7 percent of all mortgaged properties. Negative equity decreased 21 percent YOY during Q1 2018, dropping from 3.1 million homes in Q1 2017 (6.1 percent of all mortgaged properties). For comparison, CoreLogic points out that negative equity peaked at 26 percent of mortgaged residential properties in Q4 2009.

CoreLogic also reports that the national aggregate value of negative equity was approximately $284.8 billion at the end of Q1 2018. That total was approximately $100 million higher than the  $284.7 billion total from Q4 2017.

“Home equity balances continue to grow across the nation,” said Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic. “In the far Western states, equity gains are fueled by a long run in home price escalation. With strong economic growth and higher purchase demand, we expect these trends to continue for the foreseeable future.”

According to a recent study [4] by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association [5], housing equity for homeowners aged 62 and older increased by $149 billion between Q3 2017 and Q4 2017, hitting a massive total of $6.6 trillion.

To read CoreLogic’s full Home Equity Report, including a breakdown by states and core-based statistical areas, click here [1].