During the third quarter of this year, 14.4 million residential properties–or 26.7 percent–were considered equity rich. while 3.5 million–or one in 15–were considered seriously underwater, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ latest U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report.
The top 10 states with the highest share of equity rich properties in the third quarter were all in the Northeast and West regions: California (40.8 percent), Hawaii (39.2 percent), Vermont (39.0 percent), New York (35.7 percent) and Washington (35.6 percent). Among the nation’s largest metro areas, the top shares of equity rich properties were all in the West: San Jose (62.7 percent), San Francisco (51.1 percent), Los Angeles, CA (46.6 percent), Santa Rosa, Calif. (46.5 percent) and Honolulu (39.4 percent).
The top 10 states with the highest shares of mortgages that were seriously underwater in the third quarter were all in the South and Midwest: Louisiana (16.5 percent seriously underwater), Mississippi (15.8 percent), West Virginia (14.2 percent), Iowa (14.0 percent) and Arkansas (13.1 percent). Among the nation’s largest metro areas, those with the highest share of mortgages that were seriously underwater included Youngstown, Ohio (16.8 percent), Baton Rouge, La. (15.7 percent), Scranton, Pa. (14.3 percent), Cleveland (14.0 percent) and Toledo, Ohio (13.8 percent).
“The latest numbers reveal another profound impact of the extended housing boom, as far more homeowners find themselves on the right side of the balance sheet instead of the wrong side,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “This is a complete turnabout from what was happening when the housing market crashed during the Great Recession. There are notable equity gaps between regions and market segments. But as home values keep climbing, homeowners are seeing their equity building more and more, while those with properties still worth a lot less than their mortgages represent just a small segment of the market.”