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Rising home prices boost homeowner equity

Rising home prices continue to be a boon for existing homeowners.

Homeowners with mortgages netted an average of nearly $15,000 in home equity gains in the 12 months through the third quarter, CoreLogic reported. In some western states, the gains were considerably higher. In the state of Washington, where prices have risen the fastest, homeowners gained an average of $40,000 in home equity, and California homeowners averaged $37,000.

U.S. homeowners with mortgages saw an average annual gain in home equity of 11.8 percent.

"Homeowner equity increased by almost $871 billion over the last 12 months, the largest increase in more than three years," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "This increase is primarily a reflection of rising home prices, which drives up home values, leading to an increase in home equity positions and supporting consumer spending."

Meanwhile, the number of homeowners in a negative equity situation decreased 22 percent from the third quarter 2016 level to 2.5 million homes, CoreLogic reported. The percentage of all mortgaged properties has fallen to 6.3 percent from a peak of 26 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. 


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