As home prices rise, more home owners are regaining equity. During the first quarter of this year, about 254,000 properties regained equity, according to CoreLogic’s latest equity report. That now brings the total number of residential properties with a mortgage that have equity to about 44.9 million – or 90 percent – by the end of the first quarter.
5 States With Highest Negative Equity
Five states alone accounted for 31 percent of negative equity in the U.S., according to the report. Those states with the highest percentage of properties with a mortgage in the negative equity position in the first quarter are:
- Nevada: 23.1%
- Florida: 21.2%
- Illinois: 16.8%
- Arizona: 16.8%
- Rhode Island: 15.7%
“About 90 percent of home owners now have housing equity and, as a result, have experienced an increase in wealth, which can spur additional consumption and investment expenditures,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The remaining 10 percent of owners with negative equity will find their home value rising while they continue to pay down principal on their amortizing mortgage loan.”
The still elevated number of home owners who have negative equity remains a concern, however. The number of negative equity households stood at 5.1 million, or 10.2 percent of all properties with a mortgage in the first quarter of this year, according to CoreLogic’s report. That represents a slight drop from 5.4 million homes, or 10.8 percent, that had negative equity in the fourth quarter of 2014.
“Many home owners are emerging from the negative equity trap, which bodes well for a continued recovery in the housing market,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “With the economy improving and home owners building equity, albeit slowly, the potential exists for an increase in housing stock available for sale, which would ease the current imbalance in supply and demand. There are still about 5 million home owners who are underwater and we estimate that a further 5 percent appreciation in home values across the U.S. would reduce the number of owners with negative equity by about one million.”
The following states had the highest percentage of properties in the positive equity territory by the end of the first quarter:
- Texas: 97.7%
- Hawaii: 96.9%
- Alaska: 96.8%
- Montana: 96.8%
- North Dakota: 96.2%
In general, the majority of positive equity properties are centered at the high end of the housing market, according to the report. For example, 94 percent of homes valued at greater than $200,000 have equity, compared with 85 percent of homes valued at less than $200,000.