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More Homeowners Now Considered Equity Rich

The gap between what homeowners owe on their mortgages and what their homes are worth continues to widen, according to new numbers from ATTOM Data Solutions. Their most recent U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report found that 41.9 percent of mortgaged residential properties were considered equity rich in the fourth quarter of 2021. Equity rich refers to when the combined amount of loan balances is no more than 50 percent of a property's estimated value. In short, it's good news for homeowners – and it's spreading. The percentage of equity-rich properties was up from 39.5 percent in the third quarter and 30.2 percent at the same time the year before. Todd Teta, ATTOM's chief product officer, says homeowners benefited from last year's home-price increases. “As home prices kept rising, so did the equity built up in residential properties, to the point where close to half of all mortgage payers around the country found themselves in equity-rich territory,” Teta said. “No doubt, there are market metrics that pose warnings about how long the boom can last and equity can keep improving … But for now, homeowners are sitting pretty as the wealth they have tucked away in their homes keeps growing.”

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