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Home equity gains slow in Q3

U.S. homeowners continue to reap the benefits of owning a home. Equity levels rose across most of the U.S. in the third quarter, but the pace has slowed with the cooling off in home prices, according to CoreLogic.

On average, a homeowner with a mortgage gained 9.4 percent in home equity through the 12 months through September, representing a total dollar gain of $775.2 billion. The average household gain through this period was $12,400, but that was also the slowest annual increase in two years. In the second quarter, for example, the annual average gain for a homeowner was $16,000.

homequitypic“On average, homeowners saw their home equity increase again this quarter but not nearly as much as in previous quarters,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "This lower year-over-year gain reflects the slowing in [price] appreciation.”

Among states, California homeowners again saw the highest annual gain in equity, at $37,000. Other states where homeowners got a big year-over-year boost in home equity in the third quarter included Nevada ($33,000); Washington state ($27,000); Idaho ($21,000); and Utah ($21,000).

Negative equity levels, a situation where the homeowner owes more on the mortgage than the value of the house, also declined in the third quarter, but also at a slower pace. The national aggregate value of negative equity was about  $281.6 billion to end the third quarter, down $2.7 billion over the year.

About 5 percent of all properties with a mortgage, or around 2.2 million properties, had negative equity, the company estimated.

Among major metros, Miami (11.2 percent share), Chicago (8.4 percent) and Washington, D.C. (5.5 percent) had higher than average share of underwater properties.   

Homeowners with mortgages comprise about 63 percent of the market, according to CoreLogic.


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