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Homeownership Afloat

Posted by admin | October 7, 2011

With distressed homeowners in the news – and foreclosures, short sales, and dramatic loss of equity is news – it is easy to overlook the equity that has been retained by American homeowners.

Syndicated columnist Ken Harney asked mortgage data cruncher CoreLogic to do just that. The results were recently published in the Los Angeles Times, which, like ForSaleByOwner.com, is owned by Tribune Co.

Yes, total home equity has dropped nearly in half since 2005, to $6.2 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. But a third of all homeowners don’t owe on their houses, and for them, the real estate bust simply wipes off the frosting; they’ve got plenty of cake left. Harney reports that CoreLogic figures: 
  • 48.5% of U.S. homeowners have at least 25% equity in their homes
  • 24.6% of those with mortgages have more than 50% equity
  • New York and Hawaii are the states with the highest typical home equity, with nearly half of homeowners owning nearly half of their homes
  • The winning combination for high home equity: high incomes plus low mobility. In other words, get a healthy income. Buy a house. And stay in it.

Image courtesy of Morguefile contributor phaewilk.