CoreLogic: Nearly 9 Million Borrowers Regain Equity Since 2011

CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., said nearly 91,000 homeowners regained equity in the first quarter, bringing the total number of homeowners who have regained equity to nearly nine million.

The company noted, however, that 3.1 million residential properties, representing 6.1 of all mortgage properties, remain in negative equity.

CoreLogic said U.S. homeowners with mortgages (63 percent of all homeowners) saw their equity increase by $766.4 billion in the past year, an increase of 11.2 percent. Additionally, the average homeowner gained nely $13,400 in equity between from a year ago.

The report said mortgaged residential properties with negative equity decreased by 3 percent in the first quarter from the fourth quarter. From a year ago, negative equity decreased by 24 percent from 4.1 million homes, or 8.1 percent of all mortgaged properties.

“One million borrowers achieved positive equity over the last year, which means mortgage risk continues to steadily decline as a result of increasing home prices,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft. “Pockets of concern remain with markets such as Miami, Las Vegas and Chicago, which are the top three for negative equity among large metros, with each recording a negative equity share at least twice or more the national average.”

CoreLogic said negative equity peaked at 26 percent of mortgaged residential properties in Q4 2009.

The national aggregate value of negative equity totaled $283 billion at the end of the first quarter, down by $2.6 billion, or 0.9 percent, from $285.5 billion in the fourth quarter and down year over year by approximately $21.5 billion, or 7.1 percent, from $304.5 billion in Q1 2016.

“The rising cushion of home equity is one of the main drivers of improved mortgage performance. It also supports consumer balance sheets, spending and the broader economy,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

Other report highlights:

–Texas had the highest percentage of homes with positive equity at 98.4 percent, followed by Utah (98.2 percent), Washington (98.2 percent), Hawaii (98.1 percent) and Colorado (98 percent).

–On average, homeowner equity increased by $13,400 from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017 (for mortgaged properties). Washington had the highest year-over-year average increase at $37,900, while Alaska experienced a small decline.

–Nevada had the highest percentage of homes with negative equity at 12.4 percent, followed by Florida (11.1 percent), Illinois (10.5 percent), New Jersey (10.2 percent) and Connecticut (9.9 percent). These top five states combined account for 32.6 percent of outstanding mortgages in the U.S.

–Of the 10 largest metropolitan areas by population, San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco had the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in a positive equity position at 99.4 percent, followed by Denver (98.6 percent), Houston (98.5 percent), Los Angeles (97.3 percent) and Boston (95.6 percent).

–Miami had the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity at 15.7 percent, followed by Las Vegas (14.2 percent), Chicago (12 percent), Washington, D.C. (8 percent) and New York (5.3 percent).