Little Q2 change in equity status of most Tri-Cities mortgaged properties

The number of equity-rich Tri-Cities homeowners and those that were seriously underwater mortgages didn’t change much from the previous two quarters. The share of equity rich properties was slightly below the national level while the share of local underwater properties was four points higher than the national share.

There were 21,278 owners with outstanding mortgages who had at least 50% equity and 9,798 owners who owned at least 25% more than the estimated market value of their property, according to Attom Data Solutions Home Equity & Underwater Report.

All of the local zip codes had shares of equity rich properties above 20%, but only two – 37617 in Blountville and 37663 in Kingsport – had shares higher than the U.S. level.

Nationwide the count of equity-rich properties in the second quarter represented 27.5% of the 55.2 million mortgaged home in the U.S. Locally Johnson was the region’s only county with an equity-rich share higher than the U.S. level.  At one time Sullivan consistently had a higher equity-rich share than the U.S. level. Currently, it has dropped to about 2 points below the U.S. level as the number of Sullivan owners who have tapped the equity to move up, downsize or invest in major upgrades increased significantly.

“Homeowners saw their equity rise far and wide throughout the United States during the second quarter of this year in yet another sign of the housing market punching back against the Coronavirus pandemic. More property owners rose into equity-rich territory and escaped the seriously underwater lane, putting more money into the average household,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “The housing market still faces enormous challenges, given that unemployment remains historically high and the broader economy contracted severely in the second quarter. If that continues, owner equity will be seriously threatened. But for now, homeowners are enjoying the gains when it comes to what, for most, is their most significant asset.”

The local zip codes with the highest stress in Q2 – the share of underwater properties – were 37857 in Hawkins Co. 37642 Church Hill and 37643 in Carter Co.

Between Q2 and Q4 last year, the number of equity-rich homeowners in every local county except Greene increased. The number decreased by 189 in Greene. Sullivan Co. had the largest increase – 417.

At the same time, the number of underwater properties increased in every county except Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington Co. VA. They were down 111 in Sullivan; 53 in Washington Co. and 47 in Unicoi. The biggest increase came in Greene Co., up 316.

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