Local home equity surges past US average


TRI-CITIES, Tenn. – Local home equity surges past national averages and owners are tapping some of the equity with more Home Equity Loans. Attom reports on the two market performances commands extra attention from homeowners thinking about selling, their agents and investors.

Attom’s second quarter U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report shows 57.2% of the region’s mortgaged properties are equity rich. That means the combined estimated amount of loan balanced secured by those properties is no more than half of their estimated value. The U.S. market share for equity rich properties is 49%.

The only local market where the equity rich share equaled or was less than the U.S. share was Bristol, VA (49%) and Washington Co. VA. (44%). The SW VA part of the region has and continues to underperform the region’s housing market performance. The other counties ranged from a low of 54% in Johnson Co. to a high of 60% in Hawkins and Greene counties.

“The second-quarter market revival gave immediate benefits on homeowners around the nation in the form of better profits for sellers and rising equity for those staying put. Equity levels were high even during the recent downturn, and now they are going back up and better than ever,” said Rob Barber, CEO for ATTOM. “It is well worth nothing that the market remains in flux and the recent improvement could easily be temporary. Lots of changing forces are at work affecting whether boom times are really back, especially amid a recent increase in mortgage rates. But with the 2023 peak buying season still underway, it seems that homeowners can reasonably expect their household balance sheets to grow a bit more in the near future.”

Locally, sales are declining, and prices are seeing moderate year-to-date increases.

So, what are owners doing with the increased equity?

During the past year, almost 2000 locals have gone the HELOC route. Those loans ranged from 400 a month to 459 a month during the second, third quarters, and fourth quarter of last year. During the first quarter of this year, they declined to 268, which is consistent with HELOC performance during 2021, according to Attom.

The same report shows purchase and refine loans have declined since the second quarter of 2021.

It’s easy to track the number of local HELOCs, but virtually impossible to say how owners are cashing in on their equity. There’s anecdotal evidence that some of it went on luxury and foreign vacations, and regular users of local lakes are seeing more high-end boats. Remodeling and home upgrades have increased, so have the prices. Some of it is also going to the stock market and the bank of mom and dad is helping sons and daughter buck the higher prices and mortgage rates to buy homes.

There are currently 102,772 local properties with outstanding mortgages, according to Attom. This time last year there were 92,772.

Categories: REAL ESTATE