Equity rich, underwater mortgaged properties analysis points to less housing economic stress in NE Tenn.

Northeast Tennessee got a first quarter green economic stress light from two key housing market indicators.

Attom Data Solutions Q1 Home Equity and Underwater Report shows the ranks of equity-rich properties hit a four-year high during the first three months of this year while the number of properties with mortgages that were seriously underwater stood at a three-year low.

The report defines equity rich as a property where the mortgage is 50% or less than the estimated value of the property. And if you look at the big picture remember that almost half of the homes in the region don’t have a mortgage. Seriously underwater is defined as a property with a loan to value ratio of 125% or more – the homeowner owes at least 25% more than the estimated value of the property.

The report shows equity rich properties increased nationwide during the first quarter and had a 24.3% share of all mortgaged properties.

All seven counties in the NE Tenn. market had a higher share of equity rich mortgage properties. Washington Co. barely exceeded the national share by 0.1%.

Only one county – Carter – saw a decrease in the equity rich share from Q1 last year. It was down 1.9% from 29%.

The total number of mortgaged properties that were seriously underwater was 7,647, down 449 from last year.

Washington, Unicoi, Sullivan, and Hawkins saw less economic stress where the number of underwater properties decreased from last year. Carter, Greene, and Johnson counties saw increases in underwater properties from last year.

When you look at the underwater properties share, NE Tenn. had a similar standing as with the equity rich comparison. All of the local counties were under the national share, but two – Carter and Johnson – only by 0.1%.

Here’s the capsule view of the equity rich status by the number of properties compared to last year and this year’s share of mortgaged properties:

Carter – 2,109, down 61, 27.1% share.

Greene – 3,852, up 137, 27.4% share.

Hawkins – 3,131, up 322, 28.8% share.

Johnson – 686, up 130, 35.7% share.

Sullivan – 8,926, up 918, 34.4% share.

Unicoi – 920, up 180, 27.8% share.

Washington – 7,241, up 525, 23.4% share.

Here the capsule view of seriously underwater properties by the number of properties compared to last year and this year’s share of total properties:

Carter – 748, up 1239, 9.6% share.

Greene – 1,617, up 58, 11.5% share.

Hawkins – 875, down 173, 8% share.

Johnson – 184, down 173, 9.6% share.

Sullivan – 1,318, down 207, 5.1% share.

Unicoi – 225, down 162, 7.7% share.

Washington – 2,650, down 103, 8.6% share.

A nation-wide profile of equity-rich properties found:

  • 15.4% were valued up to $100,000; 20.8% valued between $100,000 and $300,000; 29.5% valued between $300,000 and $750,000; and 7% valued at more than $750,000.
  • 7% of non–owner-occupied (investment) properties with a mortgage were equity rich at the end of the first quarter of 2017 compared to 23.6% of owner-occupied properties.
  • 4% of properties located in a high-risk flood zone were equity rich, compared to 13% of those not located in a high-risk flood zone.