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The Real Deal Los Angeles

More U.S. homes worth twice their mortgage loans: report

14.5M properties declared "equity rich" in Q3
By Gregory Cornfield | November 11, 2018 10:00AM

Daren Blomquist (Credit: Attom Solutions, Wikimedia Commons)

There are more homes in the United States now worth at least twice as much as the loans secured for them, a new report shows. The finding marks a new high since such data was first collected in 2014.

As of 2018’s third quarter, 14.5 million U.S. properties were “equity rich”– up by more than 433,000 from one year ago, according to the study by ATTOM Data Solutions. The uptick represents 26 percent of all properties with a mortgage.

The highest share of equity-rich properties were in California (42.5 percent); Hawaii (39.4 percent); Washington (35.3 percent); New York (34.9 percent); and Oregon (33.6 percent).

Among the 98 metropolitan areas analyzed, the highest share of equity-rich properties were in San Jose (73.9 percent); San Francisco (59.8 percent); and Los Angeles (47.6 percent).

“As homeowners stay put longer, they continue to build more equity in their homes despite the recent slowing in rates of home price appreciation,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM.

According to the study, more than 4.9 million U.S. properties with mortgages–or 8.8 percent of mortgaged homes across the country–were “seriously underwater,” with the combined balance of secured loans being at least 25 percent higher than the estimated market value of the property.