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DS News December 2020

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

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Page 18 of 100

17 Journal 'SHAKY' ECONOMY HASN'T SLOWED RISE IN HOME EQUITY Of the 58.9 million mortgaged homes in the United States, 16.7 million considered equity-rich, meaning that the combined estimated amount of loans secured by those properties was less than 50% of their estimated market value, according to ATTOM Data Solutions' third-quarter 2020 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report. Nationwide, equity-rich properties that quarter numbered about one in four, or, 28.3%, which is a 27.5% increase from Q2 and a 26.7% increase since Q3 of 2019. at is "despite the economic damage caused this year by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic," the report's authors noted. Furthermore, just 3.5 million, or one in 17, mortgaged homes were reported to be "seriously underwater" (at least 25% more than the property's estimated market value). at number represents 6% of all U.S. properties with a mortgage, down from 6.2% in the prior quarter and 6.5% a year ago. As the pandemic has caused other sectors to suffer, the housing market has remained strong; home values have kept rising throughout 2020, commonly by double-digit annual percentages. "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. Home prices keep rising, boosting the balance sheets of homeowners throughout most of the country," said Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. "With the foundation under the housing market still shaky as the coronavirus remains a threat, we will continue to monitor closely the various metrics, including equity. But as it's been throughout the pandemic, the market is strong, and homeowners remain in a position to benefit." Here's a glimpse of what's happening regionally: » New England showed the biggest improvement in its number of equity-rich homes. » e largest declines in underwater properties happened across the Midwest and South. » Northeast and West continue to have the largest shares of equity-rich homes; the Midwest and South have the lowest. » e highest rate of seriously underwater mortgages remains in the South and Midwest. » At least 25% of all properties were seriously underwater in 115 ZIP codes.

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