ATTOM: 14.5M U.S. homeowners, one in four, are ‘Equity-Rich’ in Q1

A notable 14.5 million residential properties, or about one in four mortgaged homes in the U.S., were equity-rich properties in the first quarter of 2020 as the estimated amount of loans secured by these homes was equal to 50% or less of their estimated market value, according to Data-as-a-Service fintech, ATTOM Data Solutions

Equity-rich properties in first quarter represented 26.5% of the 54.7 million mortgaged homes in the U.S., up slightly from 26.7% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

ATTOM’s First Quarter 2020 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report also shows that at 3.6 million – the number of so-called “seriously underwater” properties represented only 6.6% of the total, up from 6.4% in the previous quarter.

Properties with Loan-to-Value (LTV) of 50% or lower are equity-rich because the owner has at least 50% equity available. Loans “seriously underwater” have LTVs of 125% or above. As a result the property owner owes at least 25% more than the estimated market value of the property.

ATTOM’s equity data pool derives from more than 155 million U.S. residential and commercial properties, which cover 99% of the nation’s population, according to the company website. The report leverages several equity and LTV data categories at the state, metro, county and zip code level.

“Mortgage payers were four times as likely to have homes worth considerably more than what they owed on their loans, than considerably less,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, who also warned that these first quarter results need to be seen in the context of the pandemic.

Highest equity-rich shares – The top 10 states in the first quarter were all in the Northeast and West regions, led by California with 42.3%, Hawaii 39%, Vermont 38.2%, Washington 36.6% and Oregon 34%. Of the 107 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) analyzed, all top five were in California. States with the lowest percentage of equity-rich properties were Louisiana, Oklahoma, Illinois, Arkansas and Alabama.

Highest seriously underwater shares – Were all in the South and Midwest regions, led by Louisiana with 17.3%, Mississippi 16.9%, West Virginia 15.7%, Iowa 14.2% and Arkansas 13%. MSAs with the highest share of mortgages seriously underwater were Youngstown, OH 17%, Baton Rouge, LA 16.4%, Scranton, PA 14.5%, Toledo, OH 14.3% and Cleveland, OH 13.7%.

More than 50% of all properties were equity-rich in 457 zip codes with at least 2,000 properties with mortgages in Q1 2020, with 25% seriously underwater in 157 zip codes. “With the potential for home values to fall, there is a significant chance that equity levels could drop over the coming months while underwater levels rise,” Teta added.

Hancock Whitney pledges $2.5 MM in community relief

Hancock Whitney of Gulfport, Miss., has committed $2.5 million in investments and other COVID-19 relief efforts to assist communities, the most vulnerable people and neighborhoods across the bank’s footprint.

Established in the late 1800s, Hancock Whitney is part of Hancock Whitney Corporation’s Gulf South financial services group, with bank offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. The investments provide much-needed financial support for various local priorities.

  • $1 million for stocking local food pantries
  • $600,000 to provide supplies to first responders and low-to-moderate-income residents in the hardest hit communities
  • $800,000 for housing relief, including legal services, to help disadvantaged individuals fight illegal evictions
  • Another $100,000 for the Hancock Whitney Associate Assistance Fund, following $400,000 already contributed by bank board members, executives, and associates to help colleagues affected by the pandemic.

“We are, all of us, in this fight together,” said Hancock Whitney President and CEO John M. Hairston. “This pandemic is creating real, significant challenges for so many people,” who do not have adequate food, income, basic safeguards against the virus, and housing to shelter in place.

During the past few weeks, the bank said, it has been collaborating with local restaurants to provide more than 8,000 meals to healthcare professionals caring for COVID-19 patients. The #HealthcareHeroes initiative has helped businesses stay open and pay hundreds of employees while emphasizing the community’s gratitude to first responders, the bank said. 

Hancock Whitney has created an online guide to operations, resources, fraud prevention tips, and ongoing direct assistance including fee waivers, loan payment deferrals, and small business loans.

“Countless individuals and organizations are doing extraordinary things in the battle to beat COVID-19. We thank them. We salute them. We are also very grateful to our Hancock Whitney teams,” added Hairston. “Together, we can support each other, invest in our communities, reopen our hometowns, rebuild our businesses, and create a great future.”

COVID-19 fuels demand & investment opportunity in these 30 sectors

The pandemic and social distancing are transforming the global economy and almost every industry fueling demand and investment opportunities in thirty areas identified by Research and Markets, a global online market research provider.

The report’s top five ranking of most in demand products and services includes: Air Purification, Biodefense, Biometrics, Contactless Payments and Cybersecurity.

 “Governments are increasing the limits of contactless payments, changing the landscape of digital payments and security measures,” the report notes, according to information gathered from service providers such as Contactless, PaymentWearable, PaymentApple, PayGoogle, WalletMobile, PaymentMobile, WalletSamsung, RevolutAlipay.

Remote banking, financial services, remote work and digital learning has created a wider spread “and urgent need for security,” protection from pandemics and other risks. Among others, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned the public that cybercriminals were impersonating the WHO in an attempt to steal money or sensitive information. Personal Identity Management, firewalls, Unified Endpoint Management “and other online security measures will be vital in the months ahead,” the report notes, quoting research findings from Personal Identity Management, Workspace Delivery Network, Unified Endpoint Management, FirewallIT Security.

Researchers ranked 6 – 12 a mix of products and services including detergents, diagnostics, e-Commerce, competitive gaming or e-Sports, firearms, food delivery, hand sanitizer.

Home & garden along with home fitness ranked 13 and 14, respectively. “Hardware stores are seeing unprecedented demand for tools and hardware supplies” as consumers in self-isolation start or complete home improvement projects. Brands reporting related demand include ToolsGarden, ToolHardware, WholesaleHardware.

Social Media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, video-sharing apps like TikTok, Youtube and video-on-demand from home entertainment companies like Netflix, remain in growth mode. Videoconferencing provider Zoom saw its shares double since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in December, “making it now worth more than Uber and Lyft combined,” the report found. Other in demand brands include Video Conferencing Software, Collaborative Software, WebRTC, VoIP Phone, Mobile VoIP, Skype, Telepresence, Telecommuting

Online subscription companies, video-on-demand, live streams and other such services will continue to flourish in the months ahead, the repost notes. People also are warming up to remote learning and Tele-health. Virtual reality also made the list albeit at the bottom.

Lastly, workplace chat solutions such as Unified Messaging, UCAAS, Enterprise Communication, Slack, also will see continued growth throughout 2020.

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