Number of the Day Shows Pandemic Boosts Home Equity

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Number of the Day

That’s how many of the country’s mortgaged homes were ‘equity-rich’ in the third quarter, thanks to rising home values, a new analysis shows.

Despite the pandemic economy, the booming housing market has helped push the share of homes with at least 50% equity higher than it was even before the pandemic began, ATTOM Data Solutions said in a report Thursday. In the third quarter, 16.7 million mortgaged homes, or 28.3% of the 58.9 million mortgaged homes in the U.S., had an estimated market value of at least twice the outstanding loans on the property. That share is up from 27.5% in the second quarter and 26.7% in the third quarter of 2019.

“Homeowner equity in the third quarter added another pebble to the pile of markers showing that the U.S. housing market continues to defy the broad downturn in the economy this year,” Todd Teta, ATTOM’s chief product officer, said in a statement. “Home prices keep rising, boosting the balance sheets of homeowners throughout most of the country.” 

Ultra-low mortgage rates have spurred a surge in homebuyer demand, pushing up sale prices amid a shrinking supply of available homes. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to yet another record low Thursday, dipping to 2.78%, Freddie Mac said in its weekly report.