2018 was a big year for homeowners; here’s how much home equity Americans gained

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Heaps of home equity

Homeowners have seen serious gains in equity this year. According to the latest data, the average owner saw their home equity jump 9.4 percent since 2018 — an aggregate increase of $775.2 billion across the nation.

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Top spots for equity increases

American homeowners have gained billions in equity over the past year, according to the latest Home Equity Report from CoreLogic. The average homeowner saw their equity jump by $12,400 in the third quarter of this year and by $16,000 in the second quarter.

Homeowners in California have experienced the biggest increase in equity, with a rise of $36,500 last quarter. Nevada homeowners were close behind at $32,600. Both states claim some of the highest-cost housing markets in the nation (Los Angeles and Las Vegas, to name a few.)

Other states with high jumps in equity included Washington ($27K), Idaho ($21K), Utah ($21K), Colorado ($18K), Hawaii ($18K), Arizona ($16K) and New York ($14K). Almost every state experienced at least some annual increase in home equity, with the exception of North Dakota, Louisiana and Connecticut.

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Underwater homeowners dip

Homeowners in negative equity — meaning they owe more than they own — continued their steady decline as well.

During the third quarter of the year, CoreLogic data shows homes in negative equity dropped by 4 percent. Currently, only 2.2 million homeowners are in a negative equity scenario. Overall, the number is down 16 percent since last year.

Home equity line vs. line of credit

“Negative equity, often referred to as being underwater or upside down, applies to borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth,” CoreLogic reported. “Negative equity can occur because of a decline in a home’s value, an increase in mortgage debt or both.”

Overall, the number of homeowners in negative equity peaked at 25 percent back in 2009.

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Want to cash in on your growing home equity? Consider a refinance. Shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

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