Some of homeownership's benefits are constant. Stability and the freedom to customize your living space, for example. Others depend a lot upon the ups and downs of the market. Equity is one of them. And these days, because of the market's continuing strength, homeowners are reaping the benefits in a big way. In fact, according to Black Knight Financial's most recent Mortgage Monitor, surging home values have increased the average mortgage holder's equity stake by $53,000, for an average of more than $175,000 in available equity per homeowner. Ben Graboske, Black Knight's president, says the gains are astonishing. “Home price growth in the third quarter – while less than half that of Q2's history-making rate – added more than $250 billion to Americans' already record levels of tappable equity,” Graboske said. “The aggregate total of $9.4 trillion is up an astonishing 32 percent from the same time last year and nearly 90 percent higher than the pre-Great Recession peak in 2006.” Increasing equity has also driven the average homeowner's loan-to-value ratio to the lowest level on record, meaning their home's value now far exceeds the amount they owe on it.
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