According to ATTOM Data Solutions, the portion of US homes considered equity-rich — meaning their property was worth twice as much as the underlying mortgage — exceeded 30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. Helped by low interest rates (favorizing refinancing) and accelerating price growth, it reached 30.2 percent of the 59 million mortgaged homes in the US. “That was up from 28.3 percent in the third quarter of 2020, 27.5 percent in the second quarter and 26.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019“.
Citing the report, Bloomberg also underlined that “among 107 metropolitan statistical areas with a population greater than 500,000, the 10 with the highest shares of equity-rich properties in the fourth quarter were in the West, with the top five in California”.
— Macro Brief (@macroandfinance) February 4, 2021
In the meantime, the report highlighted that “3.2 million, or one in 18, mortgaged homes in the fourth quarter of 2020 were considered seriously underwater, with a combined estimated balance of loans secured by the property at least 25 percent more than the property’s estimated market value.” Therefore, the portion of those loans hit 5.4 percent, down from 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019. In this context, equity-rich properties now outnumber those seriously underwater by six-to-one ratio.
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