One of the primary benefits of owning a home is equity. Put simply, equity is the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and what your home is worth. Which means, you build it as you pay down your loan each month. It also grows when your home's value increases. It's homeownership's main financial benefit and, these days, homeowners have more of it than ever.
In fact, according to ATTOM Data Solutions' most recent U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report, nearly half of all mortgaged residential properties are now considered equity rich – meaning the combined amount of loan balances secured by those properties is no more than 50 percent of their value.
Rick Sharga, ATTOM's executive vice president of market intelligence, says equity is at record levels. “Homeowners continue to benefit from rising home prices,” Sharga says. “Record levels of home equity provide financial security for millions of families, and minimize the chance of another housing market crash like the one we saw in 2008.” The share of mortgaged homes considered equity rich was at 44.9 percent in the first quarter of 2022, that's up from 31.9 percent one year earlier.