Homeownership Benefits Buyers' Bottom Line

New numbers from ATTOM Data Solutions show that 39.5 percent of mortgaged residential properties were considered equity rich during the third quarter. That's up from 28.3 percent last year at the same time. So what does equity rich mean? Well, according to ATTOM's U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report, it means the amount of loan balances secured by those properties was no more than 50 percent of the home's estimated market value. In other words, a large percentage of homeowners are seeing a big benefit to their bottom line as their home's value continues to grow. But it isn't just long-time homeowners who are benefiting. With national home values up 16 percent year over year, even recent buyers have begun to see gains. Todd Teta, ATTOM's chief product officer, says the improvements have been the best in years. “Homeowners across most of the United States could sit back with a smile yet again in the third quarter and watch their balance sheets grow as soaring home prices pushed their equity levels even higher,” Teta said. “Amid the best gains in two years, nearly four of every 10 owners found themselves in equity-rich territory.” (source)

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