Forty-six percent of mortgaged residential properties were considered equity rich in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to ATTOM Data Solutions' most recent U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report. A property is equity rich when the combined amount of loan balances secured by it is no more than half its estimated market value. Needless to say, owning an equity-rich property is a good situation for homeowners to be in, and a lot of them are.
Homeowners have benefited from years of rising home prices. In fact, 95 percent of homeowners have built up some equity, even if their home isn't considered equity rich. But while homeowners have had it good in recent years, there are signs the market has begun to cool.
Rob Barber, ATTOM's CEO, says the upcoming buying season will determine by how much. “There are increasing signs suggesting that the extended period of prosperity in the U.S. housing market may be showing signs of easing,” Barber said. “This year's peak buying season will tell us a lot about whether things really have settled down long-term.”