California homeowners earned $117,000 in equity in 2021: report

A new report shows the average homeowner in California earned $117,000 in equity last year alone.

According to CoreLogic, less than one percent of California homeowners are now underwater on their mortgages, the lowest in the nation.

the Homeowners Net Worth Report for the fourth quarter of 2021 shows that US homeowners with mortgages (which make up around 64% of all properties) saw their equity increase by 29.3% year-over-year – representing a collective gain of more than $3.2 trillion, an average gain of $55,300 per borrower, since the fourth quarter of 2020.

U.S. home prices rose 18% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from the 8% annual gain recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The research report reveals that the appreciation has helped push the national negative equity figure to the lowest in more than a dozen years – with just 1.1million homeowners underwater on their mortgages.

Courtesy of CoreLogic’s Homeowner Equity Report for Q4 2021.

On the West Coast, homeowners in Hawaii, California and Washington saw the largest equity gains in dollar value.

In January, year-over-year price appreciation rose 19.1%, but growth is expected to eventually slow over the next 12 months.

“Home prices rose 18% in 2021 in the CoreLogic Home Price Index, the largest annual gain in 45 years of history, generating a strong increase in home equity,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic.

“For low- and middle-income homeowners, home equity has always been a major source of wealth.”

Courtesy of CoreLogic’s Homeowner Equity Report for Q4 2021.

The report shows that in the San Francisco area, less than one percent of homeowners are under water on their mortgages.

Negative equity, also known as underwater or reverse mortgages, applies to borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are currently worth.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the negative equity ratio and quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year changes were as follows:

• Quarterly change: From the third quarter of 2021 to the fourth quarter of 2021, the total number of negative equity mortgaged homes decreased by 3% to 1.1 million homes, or 2.1% of all mortgaged properties.

• Annual change: In the fourth quarter of 2020, 1.5 million homes, or 2.8% of all mortgaged properties, had negative equity. This number decreased by 24.9%, or approximately 380,000 properties, in the fourth quarter of 2021.

• Breakdown of negative equity: Among negative equity loans in Q4 2021, 42% had a loan-to-value ratio below 125%, and 58% had a loan-to-value ratio of 125% or higher.

The report also mentions that looking at the mortgage book for the fourth quarter of 2021, if home prices increase by 5%, 141,000 homes would gain in equity.

On the contrary, if house prices fall by 5%, 183,000 would fall under water.

CoreLogic’s HPI Forecast TM predicts home prices will rise 5% from December 2021 to December 2022.

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