- The average U.S. homeowner gained about $20,000 in equity year over year in the third quarter.
- With around 1 million properties remaining in negative equity, the number of U.S. homes that are underwater declined by 90,000, or -8% from one year earlier.
- Borrowers in Hawaii ($63,600), California ($51,300) and Massachusetts ($44,600) recorded the largest annual home equity gains in the third quarter.
- Homeowners in Miami — which has led major U.S. metro areas for annual appreciation for more than a year on CoreLogic’s Home Price Index — saw equity increase by $61,500 from the third quarter of last year.
IRVINE, Calif., December 7, 2023—CoreLogic®, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released the Homeowner Equity Report (HER) for the third quarter of 2023. The report shows that U.S. homeowners with mortgages (which account for roughly 63% of all properties) saw home equity increase by 6.8% year over year, representing a collective gain of $1.1 trillion and an average increase of slightly more than $20,000 per borrower since the third quarter of 2022. The total amount of U.S. home equity for mortgaged properties now amounts to $16.97 trillion.
U.S. annual home equity gains bounced back in the third quarter of 2023 after posting slight annual losses in the first two quarters of the year. CoreLogic’s monthly Home Price Insights numbers saw steady increases throughout the third quarter, boosting equity gains in some parts of the country. Also, slow home sales activity is resulting in fewer mortgage originations, affecting home equity and improving the nation’s overall loan-to-value ratio, which stood at 42% in the third quarter. Despite dips in the housing market, the average U.S. homeowner with a mortgage still has more than $300,000 in equity since the purchase date.
“With price gains continuing to help homeowners build wealth, equity has reached a new high and regained losses that resulted from declines last year,” said Dr. Selma Hepp, chief economist for CoreLogic. “And while the average U.S. homeowner gained over $20,000 in additional equity compared with the third quarter of 2022, some markets are seeing larger increases as price growth catches up. These include Northeastern states such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine, all of which posted about double the national gain.”
Negative equity, also referred to as underwater or upside-down mortgages, applies to borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are currently worth. As of the third quarter of 2023, the quarterly and annual changes in negative equity were:
- Quarterly change: From the second quarter of 2023 to the third quarter of 2023, the total number of mortgaged homes in negative equity decreased by 7.7%, to 1 million homes or 1.8% of all mortgaged properties.
- Annual change: From the third quarter of 2022 to the third quarter of 2023, the total number of homes in negative equity decreased by 8% from 1.1 million homes or 2% of all mortgaged properties.
Because home equity is affected by home price changes, borrowers with equity positions near (+/- 5%), the negative equity cutoff, are most likely to move out of or into negative equity as prices change, respectively. Looking at the third quarter of 2023 book of mortgages, if home prices increase by 5%, 119,000 homes would regain equity; if home prices decline by 5%, 171,000 properties would fall underwater.
The next CoreLogic Homeowner Equity Report will be released in March 2024, featuring data for Q4 2023. For ongoing housing trends and data, visit the CoreLogic Intelligence Blog: www.corelogic.com/intelligence.
The amount of equity for each property is determined by comparing the estimated current value of the property against the mortgage debt outstanding (MDO). If the MDO is greater than the estimated value, then the property is determined to be in a negative equity position. If the estimated value is greater than the MDO, then the property is determined to be in a positive equity position. The data is first generated at the property level and aggregated to higher levels of geography. CoreLogic uses public record data as the source of the MDO, which includes more than 50 million first- and second mortgage liens and is adjusted for amortization and home equity utilization in order to capture the true level of MDO for each property. Only data for mortgaged residential properties that have a current estimated value are included. There are several states or jurisdictions where the public record, current value or mortgage data coverage is thin and have been excluded from the analysis. These instances account for fewer than 5% of the total U.S. population. The percentage of homeowners with a mortgage is from the 2019 American Community Survey. Data for the previous quarter was revised. Revisions with public records data are standard, and to ensure accuracy, CoreLogic incorporates the newly released public data to provide updated results.
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