The number of mortgaged homes in negative equity – also referred to as underwater or upside-down mortgages – dwindled by 28.9% year over year (approximately 470,000 properties) in Q3. About 1.6 million homes, or 3%, of all mortgage properties remain in negative equity.
The national aggregate value of negative equity was $276.2 billion at the end of the third quarter, up by 3% from $268 billion in the second quarter and down by 2.9% from $284.5 billion in the third quarter of 2020.
If home prices rise by 5%, 145,000 homes would regain equity, according to CoreLogic. But if prices drop by 5%, 191,000 would fall underwater.
“Home price growth is the principal driver of home equity creation,” said CoreLogic chief economist Frank Nothaft. “The CoreLogic Home Price Index reported home prices were up 17.7% for the past 12 months ending September, spurring the record gains in home equity wealth.”