Nearly half of U.S. residential mortgaged properties were deemed “equity-rich” in the first quarter of 2022, according to ATTOM’s U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report, demonstrating that current homeowners are also benefiting from rising prices even if they’re staying put.

The report showed that 44.9% of these properties met that standard. A property is considered equity-rich if the combined estimated amount of loan balances secured by it is no more than 50% of the home’s estimated market value. 

The number was up from 41.9% in the fourth quarter of 2021 and from 31.9% in the first quarter of 2021.

The report also showed that just 3.2% of mortgaged homes—one in 31—were considered “seriously underwater” in the first quarter of 2022, with a combined estimated balance of loans secured by the property of at least 25% more than the property’s estimated market value. This number held steady from the fourth quarter of 2021, but was down from 4.7%, or one in 21 properties, a year earlier.

Across the country, 45 states saw equity-rich levels increase from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022 while seriously underwater percentages increased in 28 states—though in most cases, it was by less than 1%. 

Year over year, equity-rich levels rose in 48 states and seriously underwater portions dropped in 46 states.

The 15 states where the equity-rich share of mortgaged homes rose most from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022 were all in the western and southern regions of the U.S. According to the data, the biggest increases were in 

  • New Mexico
  • Florida
  • California
  • South Carolina
  • Montana

The states where the equity-rich share of mortgaged homes decreased from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year were 

  • South Dakota
  • Mississippi
  • Louisiana
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania. 

The South and Midwest also had the biggest increases in the percentage of mortgaged homes considered seriously underwater from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, led by 

  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Louisiana
  • Pennsylvania 
  • Delaware
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