Overview of the Real Estate Market
• 5,250,000 existing homes were sold in 2015, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. 510,000 newly constructed(link is external) homes were sold in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
• The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO)(link is external) estimates that there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States.
• According to the 2012 Economic Census(link is external), there are 86,004 real estate brokerage firms operating in the United States.
• Preliminary results from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS)(link is external) show that there were 5.6 million commercial buildings in the United States in 2012, comprising 87.4 billion square feet of floorspace.
• There are approximately 115 million occupied housing units in the United States, according to the 2013 American Housing Survey(link is external). The typical owner-occupied home was built in 1976; the typical renter-occupied home was built in 1973. The typical home size is 1,500 square feet. The typical home owner is 55 years old, and has lived in the current home for 14 years.
• In 2013, 65.2 % of families owned their primary residence, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances(link is external).
Home Buyer Statistics
• First-Time vs. Repeat Buyers:
• First-time buyers: 35%
• Median age of first-time buyers: 32
• Median age of repeat buyers: 52
• Median household income of first-time buyers: $72,000
• Median household income of repeat buyers: $98,000
• The typical home purchased in 2015 was 1,900 square feet in size, was built in 1991, and had three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
• Among those who financed their home purchase, buyers typically financed 90% of the home price.
• 88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.
• Buyers who definitely would use same agent again: 73%
• Where buyer found the home they purchased:
• Internet: 51%
• Real estate agent: 34%
• Yard sign/open house sign: 8%
• Friend, relative or neighbor: 4%
• Home builder or their agent: 2%
• Directly from sellers/Knew the sellers: 1%
• Print newspaper advertisement: 1%
Source: 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
• 78% of home buyers surveyed in NAR’s 2013 Community Preference Survey responded that neighborhood quality is more important than the size of the home. 57% would forego a home with a larger yard in favor of a shorter commute.
• NAR’s 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences found that the feature that had the highest dollar value buyers were willing to pay more for was a waterfront property. 53% of home buyers undertook a home improvement project within 3 months of buying, typically spending $4,550 in improvement projects.
Home Seller Statistics
• The typical home seller in 2015 was 54 years of age, had a median household income of $100,700, and lived in their home for 10 years.
• 89% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
• Recent sellers typically sold their homes for 98% of the listing price, and 37% reported reducing the asking price at least once.
• The typical home sold was on the market for 4 weeks.
• 64% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 25% used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home.
• Sellers who definitely would use same agent again: 70%
Source: 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Statistics
• FSBOs accounted for 8% of home sales in 2015. The typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $240,000 for agent-assisted home sales.
• FSBO methods used to market home:
• Yard sign: 33%
• Friends, relatives, or neighbors: 21%
• Online classified advertisements: 10%
• Open house: 21%
• For-sale-by-owner websites: 7%
• Social networking websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.): 9%
• Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website: 13%
• Print newspaper advertisement: 3%
• Direct mail (flyers, postcards, etc.): 2%
• Video: 1%
• None: Did not actively market home: 41%
• Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:
• Getting the right price: 18%
• Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 13%
• Understanding and performing paperwork: 12%
• Selling within the planned length of time: 3%
• Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 3%
Source: 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Other Recommended Sources for Data on Real Estate:
The Economists’ Outlook blog provides insight into NAR Research’s reports and analyzes how various economic indicators affect the real estate market.
NAR’s State-by-State Economic Impact of Real Estate Activity examines real estate markets in each state and analyzes their contribution to the economy.
The Research & Statistics section of nar.realtor includes links to recent surveys and reports available from NAR. U.S. Housing Market Conditions(link is external) is published quarterly by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, providing numerous housing market statistics from the federal government and other organizations. The State of the Nation’s Housing(link is external), from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, is an annual review of housing markets in the U.S., including data on demographic trends and economic conditions.
REALTOR® Demographics
• 65% percent of REALTORS® are licensed as sales agents, and 73% of members specialize in residential brokerage.
• The typical REALTOR® is a 53 year old white female homeowner with some college education.
• 62% of all REALTORS® are female, and the median age of all REALTORS® is 58.
• Real estate experience of all REALTORS® (median): 10 years
• Median tenure at present firm (all REALTORS®): 3 years
• Most REALTORS® worked 40 hours per week in 2015.
• The median gross income of REALTORS® was $39,200 in 2015, down from $45,800 in 2014.
• Formal education of REALTORS®:
• Some college: 31%
• Bachelor’s degree: 30%
• Graduate degree and above: 12%
• Associate degree: 13%
• Some graduate school: 7%
• High school graduate: 7%
• REALTOR® affiliation with firms:
• Independent contractor: 86%
• Employee: 5%
• Other: 9%
Source: 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile
Statistics on REALTORS® and Technology
• 27% of agents and 21% of brokers spent between $501 – $2,000 on technology in the last 12 months.
• The top three tools that respondents plan on purchasing or replacing in the next year are: iPad (16%); Smartphone (15%); and digital camera (12%).
• The most frequently used operating system is Windows 7 (38%).
• The most popular smartphones are iPhone (52%), Android OS (45%), Blackberry (3%).
• 91% of REALTORS® use social media to some extent.
• The top places where REALTORS® place their listings are realtor.com®, Zillow and Trulia.
Source: 2013-2014 REALTOR® Technology Survey
Mortgage Debt Outstanding
Current Release Historical data (CSV) About Release Dates
Release Date: March 2017
Mortgage Debt Outstanding (1.54)
Millions of dollars, end of period

1. Multifamily debt refers to loans on structures of five or more units. Return to table
2. Includes loans held by nondeposit trust companies but not loans held by bank trust departments. Includes savings banks and savings and loan associations. Return to table
3. FmHA-guaranteed securities sold to the Federal Financing Bank were reallocated from FmHA mortgage pools to FmHA mortgage holdings in 1986:Q4 because of accounting changes by the Farmers Home Administration. Return to table
4. Outstanding principal balances of mortgage-backed securities insured or guaranteed by the agency indicated. Return to table
5. Includes securitized home equity loans. Return to table
6. Other holders include mortgage companies, real estate investment trusts, state and local credit agencies, state and local retirement funds, noninsured pension funds, credit unions, and finance companies. Return to table
Source: Based on data from various institutional and government sources. Separation of nonfarm mortgage debt by type of property, if not reported directly, and interpolations and extrapolations, when required for some quarters, are estimated in part by the Federal Reserve. Private Mortgage Conduits from LoanPerformance Corporation and other sources.
Last update: March 10, 2017
he financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 sent the American housing market into a tailspin. New construction all but ground to a halt, and the market for existing homes was at its lowest point in recent history. As hundreds of thousands of families watched the equity in their homes slip away, the demand for new mortgages dropped to a staggeringly low number. It’s been a long slow struggle back, but the US economy is finally making a welcome recovery. New constructions are on the rise, the real estate market is on the rebound, and more and more consumers are applying for new mortgages. Proof of the recovery, if proof were needed, can be found in the annual mortgage statistics that are collated by both the government and other independent research firms.
If you’re interested in the current state of the US mortgage market, you need look no further. We’ve gathered together some of the most telling mortgage statistics to give you a general overview of the American housing market.
The Size Of The Residential Mortgage Market
The US mortgage market continues to feel the effects of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, but the numbers are on the rise. According to the Federal Reserve, outstanding mortgage debt for single family residences declined significantly from 2011 to 2012, but has been growing in fits and starts since 2013. Interestingly, outstanding mortgages for multifamily residences held steady, and even managed grow, despite the economic crisis. By contrast, non-residential mortgages have remained relatively steady, even showing some consistent growth over the same four year period.

The forecast for the US mortgage market is strong, with an anticipated compound annual rate of growth of 2.9%.
What Are Current Local Mortgage Rates
The following Bankrate table shows current mortgage rates in your local market.
What Percent Of Consumer Debt Is Mortgage Debt
Despite the general decline in the American housing market, home secured debt still makes up more than 75% of all consumer debt in the United States. That includes new and existing mortgages, as well as home equity lines of credit (ie reverse mortgages and home equity loans). As of 2013, and the latest US census, mortgage and home secured debt stood at just over 8.5 trillion dollars; a 12% drop from peak levels recorded in the last quarter of 2008.
Average Mortgage Debt Per Family
From 2010 to 2013 the number of families with home-secured debt fell from 47.0% to 42.9%. These numbers reflect both a decline in home-ownership, and a reticence on the part of consumers to take out extended home equity loans. That being said, home-secured debt remains the most common type of debt held by families in the US.
Again, according to the latest census numbers, the conditional median value of home-secured debt for families in the United States fell by 2% from $117,500 in 2010 to $115,000 in 2013. The conditional mean value of home-secured debt during the same period fell from $165,400 to $156,700, showing a 5% drop in the average home-secured debt being held by families in the US. These declines clearly show a loss of consumer confidence following the financial crisis of 2008. Still, forecasts are positive, and all economic predictors point to an uptick in mortgages and other home-secured loan products.
(source: The US Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances)
Mortgage Defaults In The United States
There has always been a small percentage of mortgages that slip into delinquency or default, regardless of the prevailing economic climate. From 1979 through to 2006, the share of mortgage loans that were classed as ‘seriously delinquent’ (in excess of 90 days past due or in the process of foreclosure) averaged 1.7%; with a low of 0.7% in 1979 and a high of 2.4% in 2002 when the country experienced its first recession of the new century. However, the rise of ‘sub-prime’ or ‘near-prime’ lending in the middle of the decade led to an inevitable increase in mortgage defaults and delinquencies. Indeed, by 2008 the number of home loans determined to be ‘seriously delinquent’ or in default rose to 4.5%, nearly double the levels seen in 2002. The increased level of delinquencies preceded a sharp rise in home foreclosures, peaking at 1.2 million by the first quarter of 2008. To put that in perspective, that’s an increase of 79% over the first quarter of 2007.
Following the recession of 2008, lenders became much more conservative in their lending practices. While that did not necessarily stem the tide of existing delinquencies, it did help to curb the rise of any new defaults or foreclosures. Mortgage loans that originated in the early to mid 2000’s still account for the largest percentage of delinquencies, though they only make up roughly 38% of all outstanding home loans. Mortgages that originated after
2009 are performing much better, with a much lower rate of delinquencies and defaults. In fact, the number of mortgages written post 2009 now account for nearly
62% of all active loans, yet they only make up 15% of those classified as seriously delinquent.
(source: The Rise in Mortgage Defaults – Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs, Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C.)
Mortgages – Fixed Rate And Adjustable Rate Formats
There are two primary mortgage formats in the United States, the fixed-rate and the adjustable-rate (ARM). Fixed-rate mortgages remain the most common, and most popular, mortgage product for US home buyers. With a fixed-rate mortgage, interest rates are set during the loan’s origination and they remain constant throughout the life of the loan. Fixed-rate mortgages are offered at a variety of terms, Fixed-rate mortgages are offered at a variety of terms, typically in 15, 20 or 30 year formats, with a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage be the most popular throughout the US. The main advantage of these types of loans is that buyers are protected from any sudden and unexpected increases in interest rates while they hold the mortgage. Monthly payments remain predictable, as does the total cost of the loan itself.
Fixed-rate mortgages were the standard format prior to 1982 when congress passed the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act, after which banks and savings and loans in the United States were able to offer adjustable-rate mortgages to their customers. With an adjustable-rate mortgage, the initial interest rate on the loan is set below the current
market value applied to fixed-rate mortgages. Over the term of the loan, interest rates are adjusted at predetermined intervals based on a set of market indexes. The main attraction of adjustable-rate mortgages is that they allow for lower initial monthly payments, and often allow consumers to qualify for larger home loans. However, with an adjustable-rate mortgage monthly payments can change frequently over the life of the loan, and when interest rates rise that can present a financial burden for the borrower. Still, adjustable-rate mortgages can be attractive to first time buyers, and to homeowners who intend to flip their property or expect to move within a short span of time.
Adjustable-rate, also known as variable-rate, mortgages may not be the most popular format in the US, but they are the prevailing home loan product in many other countries. Indeed, in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada they are the most common type of home loans, and in these countries it is extremely unusual to find a fixed-rate rate mortgage product. This is because the basic structure of the mortgage lending industry in most countries doesn’t support long term lending. With the notable exceptions of Germany and Austria, in most European countries the predominant mortgage format remains the ARM or variable-rate loan.
Fluctuating Mortgage Rates In The United States
Interest rates on both fixed and variable rate mortgages are constantly in flux, and a review of their performance over the last several years reveals some interesting trends. Interest rates on a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage were at their highest when they peaked at 18.45 during the fourth quarter of 1981. Indeed, from 1979 through 1990 interest rates on a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage remained firmly rooted in the double digits, and it is only in the last twenty years that they have slowly returned to, and ultimately bettered, pre-1980 levels. Rates on 15 year fixed-rate mortgages have been relatively more stable over the last twenty years, reaching their highest level of 8.58 in the early to mid nineties. Since then, rates and points on 15 year mortgages have slowly declined, once again reaching an all time statistical low. The same holds true for 5 year fixed-rate mortgages and 1 year variable rate home loans, with both hovering at their lowest rates for products in their class.
The general public might find it surprising to learn that interest levels on most standard mortgages are lower now than they have been in over forty years. While much of this is due to the economic downturn of the last decade or more, it does make for a buyer’s market, with current rates greatly favoring the consumer.
(source: Freddie Mac – Economic and Housing Research)
Mortgage Rates By Region
Of course, mortgage rates are also influenced by region, and where you buy a home will have a big impact on the available interest rates. Currently, rates are lowest on the upper East coast, with New York and New Jersey leading the country in most affordable mortgage rates. Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida continue to have the highest rates in the country, following the historical trends. To see where your state ranks among the national averages,
check out this handy
interactive map. It’s updated regularly so you can track the rise and fall of mortgage rates in your region of the country.
5 Most Expensive States For Home Buyers
The recent economic crisis may have dealt the US housing market a devastating blow, but it is slowly returning to form. Spurred on by a strengthening economy and record low interest rates, real estate markets across the country are returning to (and some cases exceeding) their pre-recession levels. But as consumers return to the market, housing costs have begun to rise, particularly in some of the most desirable regions of the nation. For a greater perspective on the rising cost of home-ownership, let’s take a quick look at the 5 most expensive states for home buyers in the U.S.
• Massachusetts – Home prices have risen by 5.85% over the last year, a sure sign of the health of the state’s housing market. The median home price in Massachusetts clocks in at $312,250, with the average being greatly influenced by prices on Nantucket Bay as well as in Middlesex and Suffolk Counties. Outlying regions of the state (Berkshire County and Franklin County) average much lower, with housing prices hovering around $170,000. Massachusetts also has one of the higher cost of living indexes in the country.
• New York – While New York may be able to boast lower mortgage rates, housing prices are definitely well above the national average. The median sales price for homes in the Empire state have risen by more than 24% over the last year, reaching a statewide average of $317,191. As is to be expected, prices are highest in Westchester and Kings Counties. Housing prices in upstate New York remain the most affordable, falling anywhere between $70,000 and $100,000.
• California – Unsurprisingly, the Golden State easily makes the list of top five most expensive states. Home prices have risen by 3.75% over the last year, reaching a median of $360,000. The statewide average is pushed up by prices along the coast, particularly in San Mateo and Marin Counties. California also has one of the highest cost of living indexes in the nation.
• Hawaii – Hawaii has always led the nation in home prices, as well as cost of living. The median sales price for homes in the Aloha State have risen by 2.38% over the last year, clocking in at $430,000. The trend is predicted to continue, with prices rising by up to 5.25% over the next few years. The islands of Maui and Honolulu lead the state, with home prices averaging close to $500,000.
• District of Columbia – While not a state as such, Washing DC tops the list of most expensive places to buy a home in the United States. With a median home price of $4549,498 the nation’s capital leads the pack in home prices, and that’s a trend that is expected to continue into the future. As one might expect, the cost of living in the District of Columbia is one of the highest in the country.
(sources: Find The Home’s Guide to The Most Expensive States & Market Watch’s Map of the Most Expensive and Cheapest States to Live)
Least Expensive Housing Markets
While most states have seen their real estate markets rebound thanks to a strengthening economy, some are still a better buy for homeowners than others. Now that we’ve looked at the 5 most expensive states in which to buy a home, it’s only fair that we touch on the 5 least expensive housing markets. They are, in no particular order:
• Indiana – Home values in the Hoosier State have risen by only 1.8% in the last year, with median home prices hovering at around $112,000. While mortgage rates are a little higher than the national average, Indiana still makes the list of one of the least expensive states for home buyers in the United States. It also has one of the lowest cost of living indexes in the country.
• Oklahoma – Oklahoma has been slow to feel the economic recovery, and home prices have remained on the low side of the national average with a median of $109,000. That cost jumps to around $145,000 for the state’s metropolitan areas. In keeping with the lower home prices, the Sooner State also has a lower than average cost of living index.
• Kentucky – Home values in Kentucky have risen by 1.0% over the last year, but are predicted to rise by another 3.0% over the next year or more. The median price for a single family home in the Bluegrass State currently stands at $127,500. Combined with low taxes and a lower than average cost of living index, that makes Kentucky one of the least expensive states in the country in which to buy a home.
• Tennessee – The median home value in Tennessee is approximately $120,000, though in some areas like Humboldt and Knoxville you can easily find a single family home for between $50,000 and $60,000. Again, low taxes and a lower than average cost of living make Tennessee something of a buyer’s market.
• Mississippi – Home values in Mississippi remain lower than the national average, and the media price on a single family home in the more metropolitan areas comes in at around $114,000. Rural districts are considerably cheaper, with median prices hovering around $60,000. Housing costs in Mississippi are expected to rebound more slowly than other parts of the country, with an annual increase of 1.5% to 1.8%.
(sources: Zillow Research & Numbeo)
Residential Lenders
Top mortgage lenders in the United States (via MortgageStats.com):
• Wells Fargo
• Chase
• Quicken Loans
• Bank of America
• U.S. Bank
• PHH Mortgage
• CitiMortgage
• PennyMac
• Flagstar
• Freedom Mortgage
Residential Servicers
Top loan servicers in the United States (via MortgageStats.com):
• Wells Fargo
• Chase
• Bank of America
• Nationstar Mortgage
• CitiMortgage
• U.S. Bank
• Walter Investment Management
• Ocwen Loan Servicing
• PHH Mortgage
• Cenlar
The Statistical Home Buyer
At the heart of the mortgage market lies the home buyer, and their characteristics can tell us a lot about the housing market. As we round out our review of mortgage and housing statistics, it’s seems appropriate that we take a brief look at home buyers in the United States, and how they navigate the mortgage market.
• First Time Buyers – The number of first time buyers entering the housing market fell to its lowest percentage since 1981. In 2014, first time buyers comprised 33% of the US housing market, a drop of five points from the previous year.
• Median Age and Income of First Time Buyers – The average age of first time home buyers in the United States stands at 31, showing little to no change over the last few years. Their average annual income was approximately $68,300. The median cost of homes purchased by first time buyers is$169,000.
• Median age and Income of Repeat Buyers – The average age and income of repeat buyers remains relatively stable, with a median age of 53 and an income of approximately $95,000 per year. The average cost of a home purchased by a repeat buyer is $240,000.
• Household Composition of Home buyers – The statistical make-up of home buyers has remained unchanged over the last few years, with 65% being married couples, 16% single women, 9% single men, and 8% unmarried couples.
• Financing Profiles – 88% of all buyers financed their purchase, with younger buyers more likely to rely on financing than consumers aged 64 or older. 93% of first time buyers opted for a fixed-rate mortgage, with 35% financing their purchase with an FHA backed mortgage. The average down payment for first time buyers was 6% of the total cost of their home, while the average down payment for repeat buyers was 13%.
• Housing Profiles – 79% of buyers purchased a detached single family home, while 16% bought a townhouse or condo. The average home purchased had three bedrooms and two baths.
• Average Time Between Moves – The average time a family is expected to stay in their home is approximately 13 years. Data collected in 2011 suggested an average of 16 years for more than half of all homeowners in the US, but the survey was deemed atypical so the average was rounded down to compensate.
(sources: Surveys by the National Association of Realtors & the National Association of Home Builders)
As is to be expected, the housing market is subject to constant change, reacting as it must to the prevailing economic climate. The statistics we have provided for you here are a virtual snapshot of the US mortgage market as it responds to a strengthening economy and the return of consumer confidence in the American consumer. It should, we hope, provide a deeper insight into the current state of the US housing and mortgage markets.
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Mortgage industry – Statistics & Facts
Statistics and facts on the mortgage industry of the United States
The mortgage industry of the United States has gone through several distinct phases of evolution that have allowed it to reach its current status as the largest and most complex home-financing market on the planet. A mortgage industry overview in the United States is indicative of the vast scale of its mortgage sector, a status that has not always served as a badge of honor for the country. The fact that it was the
U.S. subprime mortgage crisis that set the stage and conditions that led to the financial turmoil and subsequent recession of 2008 is, after all, well documented.
Forecasts, statistics, and estimates relating to the direction in which the mortgage market has been moving since the crisis of 2008 have been mixed and continue to be despite the emergence of a recovery in the sector; banks once again begin to lend, interest rates fall, consumer confidence increases and people once again feel secure enough to spend and invest. Industry trends and forecasts from 2016, especially with regards to the construction sector, are all pointing towards a recovery; as the 2016 rates for new house starts and total home sales continue to show. Estimates for 2017 are anticipated to be even more positive. Mortgage debt is the largest form of debt amongst American consumers. In the first quarter of 2016, mortgage debt was more than six times larger than student loan debt and more than 11 times greater than credit card debt. This text provides general information. Statista assumes no liability for the information given being complete or correct. Due to varying update cycles, statistics can display more up-to-date data than referenced in the text.
The Typical American Has This Much In Home Equity — How About You?
The amount of home equity grows over time, but that may not be a big help in retirement.
Todd Campbell
May 25, 2015 at 6:09AM
Your home may be your castle, but it’s also the single largest component of your net worth. Last year, the U.S. Census Department took its most recent look at how much equity people have in their homes by age. The findings, which are based on 2011 data, offer valuable insight that may help you judge whether or not you’re on the right track financially.
What is home equity? The amount of equity that people have in their homes depends on two factors. First, it depends on how much the home is worth. Second, it depends on how much money is still owed on the property. When the amount owed is subtracted from the amount the home is worth, the amount leftover is called home equity.
Once equity was calculated, the Census Bureau broke out that information by age groups ranging from people less than 35 years old to people 75 and older.
What are the numbers? Because most people buy their homes with a 15-year or 30-year mortgage, and home prices have increased over time, it’s probably not too shocking to discover that the amount of home equity peope have increases as they get older.
People tend to buy their first homes when they’re younger than 35. As a result, the median amount of home equity for people below that age totals just $20,000. That amount steadily climbs, however, as mortgages get paid down. Once you retire, the growth in your home equity flattens out because your mortgage has been paid off.
Home equity’s impact on financial security Even though a typical American may have built up substantial equity in a home, he or she still may be in for an unwelcome surprise at retirement. That’s because home equity, rather than income-producing investments, represents the single largest contributor to net worth.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s data, the typical American’s net worth at age 65 is $194,226. However, removing the benefit from home equity results in that figure plummeting to just $43,921.
The general rule of thumb is that investors should withdraw only 4% of their retirement savings for retirement income. Therefore, it’s unlikely that most savings accounts will prove adequate funds to cover monthly expenses.
That means that most retirees are likely to be heavily reliant on Social Security to cover their bills. Because the average retiree receives just $1,333 per month in Social Security income — an amount that isn’t going to provide a lot of financial flexibility — many people may be forced to refinance or sell their homes in order to tap the equity that has been built up.
Getting back on track Being mortgage free in retirement is a goal worth pursuing because it reduces your monthly expenses; but you shouldn’t ignore the importance of having other investments that can kick off retirement income. An approach that balances paying down debt with consistently putting away money for retirement could be best.
If you feel like you’re falling behind in accumulating equity in your home, consider making an additional monthly payment every year. That will help you build up equity quickly, while also reducing your total interest payments. At the same time, consider making changes to your monthly spending. Even small changes can free up hundreds of dollars in additional money that can be set aside every month, and that can lead to big money down the road.
For example, the average person age 35 to 44 has a median $61,500 invested in stocks, mutual funds, and retirement accounts. If a 40-year-old with that amount adds $200 per month to those investments, and earns a hypothetical 6% annualized return, then his or her account would grow to be worth $395,624 at 65.
However, if that monthly investment was increased from $200 to $500, then that nest egg would soar to $593,137. That’s a big difference, and those additional dollars could end up going a long way toward making sure that you don’t need to tap into your home equity later on in life.
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76% Of US Homeowners Now Have at Least 20% Equity in Their Homes!
by The KCM Crew on September 20, 2016 in First Time Home Buyers, For Buyers, For Sellers,Housing Market Updates, Move-Up Buyers
Agents, did you know you can share a personalized version of this post? Learn more!
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CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 91.1% of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation, while 75.9% now have significant equity (defined as more than 20%)! The report also revealed that 548,000 households regained equity in the second quarter of 2016 and are no longer under water.
Price Appreciation = Good News for Homeowners
Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains:
“Home-value gains have played a large part in restoring home equity. The CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) for the U.S. recorded 5.2 percent growth in the year through June, an important reason that the number of owners with negative equity fell by 850,000 in the second quarter from a year earlier.”
Anand Nallathambi, President & CEO of CoreLogic, believes this is a great sign for the market in the coming year as well, as he had this to say:
“We see home prices rising another 5 percent in the coming year based on the latest projected national CoreLogic Home Price Index. Assuming this growth is uniform across the U.S., that should release an additional 700,000 homeowners from the scourge of negative equity.”
Below is a map illustrating the percentage of households in each state with significant equity:
Many homeowners with more than 20% equity in their home would be able to use that equity as a down payment on either a larger home, or even a retirement home.
Bottom Line
If you are one of the many Americans who are unsure of how much equity you have in your home, don’t let that be the reason you fail to move on to your dream home this year
Average American Homeowner Now Has This Percent of Home Equity • Mark Hanna • MORE ARTICLES
• June 14, 2011 • VIEW ALL
No surprise from a recent AP story, considering the legions of Americans who utilized cash out refinancing during the ‘good times’, and the army of those underwater in the current era. What is staggering is the magnitude drop in the past decade – 61% to 38%. I’ve outlined the long term national concern in posts as long back as 2008. Whereas many seniors today have their home paid off and hence can live on a lower income as their main monthly expense is paid for (sans property taxes and maintenance), many of the baby boomer generation will be saddled with a housing or rental expense in their golden years. This is just going to put another squeeze on consumer spending and cause hardship for many who lived “for today”. • Falling real estate prices are eating away at home equity. The percentage of their homes that Americans own is near its lowest point since World War II, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. The average homeowner now has 38 percent equity, down from 61 percent a decade ago.
• Home equity is important for the economy because it has a lot to do with how wealthy people feel. If they feel swamped by a mortgage loan, they’re less likely to spend freely on other things. Home equity also serves as collateral for some loans.
• There are 74.5 million homeowners in the United States. An estimated 60 percent have a mortgage. Of the people who have mortgages, 23 percent are “under water,” meaning they owe more on the mortgage than their home is worth, according to the private real estate research firm CoreLogic. An additional 5 percent are nearing that point. (by 2013, one could expect 33% or more will be underwater – of course that number will be mitigated by those foreclosed on or who ‘walk away’.)
• The Federal Reserve report found that Americans’ overall net worth grew 1.65 percent in the January-to-March period, to $58.06 trillion, mostly because of stock market gains. Most of those gains have been erased since March, though.
Now for what appears to be good news, but as we have outlined in previous posts is simply a reflection of defaults.
• The report found household debt declined at an annual rate of 2 percent from the previous quarter, mostly because of a decline in mortgage debt, which has fallen for 12 straight quarters. (sounds good, people are shaping up!) But the decline is deceiving. Mortgage debt is coming down because so many Americans are defaulting on payments and losing their homes to foreclosure, not just because people are paying off loans. (oops, had to look under the hood) “A lot of this debt reduction is not voluntary,” said Dana Saporta, director of U.S. economics at Credit Suisse.
• The Fed report suggests the average household owes about $119,000 on mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and other debt. Debt now equals 119 percent of the money Americans have left over after taxes. In late 2007, when the country was binging on debt, it was 135 percent. In the healthier 1990s, it was roughly 90 percent.
• Auto loans, student loans and other consumer credit rose 2.4 percent during the quarter, a second straight gain. Analysts say more people, many of them unemployed, are borrowing money to attend school.
This is a guest post written by Trader Mark who runs the blog Fund My Mutual Fund.
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Home equity is soaring, yet many owners are still underwater on loans
Tapping your home’s equity is risky if you don’t have a plan to repay the borrowing. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Kenneth R. Harney
Homeowners’ equity holdings at the end of march totaled $10.8 trillion, the highest amount since late 2007
WASHINGTON — If you’re like most homeowners, it’s your biggest asset. You can’t track it online or check monthly statements sent to you by a bank, but it’s crucially important for your personal financial well-being and your retirement planning.
It’s your home equity — the difference between the market value of your house and whatever debt you’ve got on it. Equity for most of us is a big deal, and based on data released recently by the Federal Reserve, Americans’ home-equity holdings are booming.
ASHINGTON — If you’re like most homeowners, it’s your biggest asset. You can’t track it online or check monthly statements sent to you by a bank, but it’s crucially important for your personal financial well-being and your retirement planning.
It’s your home equity — the difference between the market value of your house and whatever debt you’ve got on it. Equity for most of us is a big deal, and based on data released recently by the Federal Reserve, Americans’ home-equity holdings are booming.
That’s great news for most owners — though not all — and for the economy as a whole. The more equity we have, the more likely we are to spend money on goods and services that create more jobs — the so-called wealth effect.
Now consider these brain-bending big numbers: Thanks to rising prices and substantial continuing pay-downs of mortgage debt, owners’ combined equity holdings increased by $795 billion during the three months ended March 31. Homeowners’ equity holdings at the end of the first quarter totaled $10.8 trillion, the highest amount since late 2007 — but still well below the bubble-era record of $13.4 trillion reached in early 2006.
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The ongoing boom is also pulling thousands of owners across the country out of real estate purgatory — they’ve been stuck in negative equity positions but are now transitioning to positive. According to new estimates from mortgage and housing analytics firm CoreLogic, the owners of 312,000 houses moved out of negative territory during the first three months of 2014. If prices rise just 5% in the year ahead, say researchers, an additional 1.2 million owners could do the same.
Related story: New online calculator makes fees in mortgage offers transparent
Now for the sobering side of the home-equity story: Despite the boom in housing wealth underway, many owners are still unable to join the party. About 6.3 million of them remain underwater on their loans. The average amount of negative equity they’re carrying is often significant — they owe an average 33% more than their house could command in a sale today. That gives you an idea of the widespread pain still being felt in the wake of the bust and recession.
The impact is especially severe for owners who bought with little or nothing down and then loaded on additional debt with second mortgages. The average negative equity balance for owners with two mortgages is about $75,000, according to CoreLogic. For households with one mortgage, the average negative equity is around $52,000.
Also on the sobering side, millions of owners continue to have less equity than they’ll need if they want to sell or even refinance. At the end of March, 10 million owners had less than 20% equity in their properties, and 1.6 million of them had less than 5%. Given real estate transaction costs, most people with less than 5% equity would have to bring money to the table to pay off the debt on their house when they sell.
Equity holdings are closely linked to market segments — higher-cost houses are less likely to be in negative equity positions than lower-cost homes — and geography. According to CoreLogic, only about 3% of homes costing more than $500,000 have negative equity. By contrast, 17% of homes costing less than $200,000 are in negative positions.
Not surprisingly, areas of the country that performed worst during the bust — where easy-money financing was most common during the boom — continue to have high rates of negative equity, even well into the housing rebound. But there’s one dazzling exception: California. In some inland counties during the recession, toxic financing contributed to home value losses of 50% and higher. Yet today, thanks to the most vigorous marketplace rebound of any state, just above 11% of California homes are in negative equity. Compare that with 29% in Nevada, 27% in Florida, 20% in Arizona.
Where are average equity levels highest? Texas, where home prices remained modest and affordable during the boom, is at the top. Just 3.3% of Texas homes have debt exceeding their resale values. Rounding out the top five, Montana, Alaska, North Dakota and Hawaii all have less than 5% negative equity on average. The District of Columbia, a high-cost market that has seen significant home-price appreciation in the last several years, ranks sixth best in the country with a 5.1% negative equity rate. kenharney@earthlink.net
The Rising Tide of Home Equity
The aggregate amount of equity in U.S. residential homes has more than doubled since 2011, the result of 40 percent price appreciation nationwide during that time.
Even with that much of an increase in home equity—which hit a trough of $6.1 trillion in June 2011 but by June 2016 had risen to $12.7 trillion—there is still plenty more equity to be regained while home price appreciation continues over the next year, according to CoreLogic’s U.S. Economic Outlook for October 2016.
“We project the national CoreLogic Home Price Index will rise another 5 percent in the coming year, helping to boost home-equity wealth by close to $1 trillion,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said. “In turn, this wealth gain should add to consumption spending and contribute to economic growth in 2017.”
According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Equity Report released in mid-September, more than half a million (548,000) homeowners regained equity in the second quarter of 2016, bringing the total of residential homes with equity to approximately 47 million (93 percent). This left approximately 7 percent, or close to 3.6 million homeowners, in negative equity.
“We see home prices rising another 5 percent in the coming year based on the latest projected national CoreLogic Home Price Index,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Assuming this growth is uniform across the U.S., that should release an additional 700,000 homeowners from the scourge of negative equity.”
With the substantial rise in home equity, which is a key component of household wealth, there has been a corresponding increase in consumption spending and renovation expenditures. Moody’s Analytics reported that consumption spending rises by approximately $2 for every $100 worth of housing wealth that is regained.
“[A] $6 trillion rise in housing wealth has lifted consumer spending by more than $100 billion during the last five years,” Nothaft said. “And renovation expenditures are up as well, further contributing to economic growth.”
According to CoreLogic, the average gain in home equity, or household wealth, from the middle of 2015 to the middle of 2016 was $11,000 per homeowner. The largest increases were seen in California, Oregon, and Washington, all of which had an average increase in equity of almost $30,000 per homeowner. In Connecticut, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania, there was either a decline or no change in the average amount of equity gained per homeowner.

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About Author: Kendall Baer
Kendall Baer is a Baylor University graduate with a degree in news editorial journalism and a minor in marketing. She is fluent in both English and Italian, and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Apart from her work as a journalist, she has also managed professional associations such as Association of Corporate Counsel, Commercial Real Estate Women, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Project Management Institute for Association Management Consultants in Houston, Texas. Born and raised in Texas, Baer now works as the online editor for DS News.
Americans Are Tapping Into Home Equity Again
Diana Olick | @DianaOlick
Friday, 8 Feb 2013 | 11:04 AM ETCNBC.com
Homes as Credit Cards Friday, 8 Feb 2013 | 1:30 PM ET
Nearly 11 million borrowers are underwater on their mortgages, owing more than their homes are worth, according to CoreLogic, and yet home equity lines of credit are suddenly on the rise again.
During the housing boom of the last decade Americans withdrew over $1 trillion in home equity. They did it through cash-out refinances, home equity loans, and home equity lines of credit. The latter allowed them to use their homes like an ATM. They
spent the money on cars, televisions, vacations and fancy home upgrades. It was seemingly endless equity, until suddenly that equity was gone.
“Home prices are definitely a factor” in the recent rise home equity lines of credit, said Brad Blackwell, an executive with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “As they increase, people have more available equity.”
(Read More: New Housing Fears: Home Prices Are Rising Too.)
Blackwell also pointed to increased consumer confidence, meaning borrowers now feel better about their ability to repay these loans. Both factors fueled a 19 percent jump in originations of home equity lines of credit at the end of last year, according to Equifax. In 2008, as housing was crashing, home equity line originations dropped 55 percent.
“Nationally we’ve seen a 31 percent increase in HELOC’s year-over-year,” said a spokesperson from JPMorgan Chase.
Martin Poole | Stockbyte | Getty Images
With home prices up 8 percent year-over-year in December, according to the latest reading from CoreLogic, homeowners are regaining home equity at a fast clip—1.4 million borrowers rose above water on their mortgages through the end of September. That number likely increased as price appreciation accelerated toward the end of the year.
Does this mean a return to the reckless equity withdrawals of the housing bubble? Likely not.
“I would guess that most of the current home equity line borrowing is quite prudent. We know that it is being very conservatively underwritten with plenty of equity,” said Guy Cecala, editor of Inside Mortgage Finance.
(Read More: Housing Already Shows Signs of a New Bubble.)
While it is too early to say exactly what borrowers are spending this new cash on, anecdotal evidence shows borrowers are largely sinking the money back into their homes.
“We are seeing more responsible uses today, like home improvements, education expenses or other major expenses that would be a more responsible use of a customer’s home equity,” Blackwell said.
The average home equity line in October of 2012 was just below $90,000 compared to October 2006, when lines averaged just over $100,000, according to Equifax.
Despite the recent surge, volume is still down dramatically from the height of the housing boom. Borrowers in 2012 took out a collective $7.2 billion in home equity lines through last October, compared to just over $28 billion in 2006.
(Read More: Why Home Builders Won’t Drop New Home Prices,)
The numbers are expected to go up in 2013, not just because home prices are rising, but because interest rates are rising. With higher rates, borrowers will not want to give up their rock-bottom fixed rates to do cash-out refinances; rather, they will turn to home equity lines instead. While these lines usually carry variable rates, banks are now offering new products with fixed rates. Wells Fargo recently promoted a line of credit where a portion of the loan is fixed for up to three years.
“We clearly want to lend, and we want to lend to the types of needs that our customers have,” Blackwell added. —By CNBC’s Diana Olick; Follow her on Twitter @Diana_Olick or on Facebook at facebook.com/DianaOlickCNBC Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com
CoreLogic Reports 268,000 US Homeowners Regained Equity in the First Quarter of 2016
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June 09, 2016, Irvine, Calif., –
––4 Million Properties Remain in Negative Equity—
CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, today released a new analysis showing 268,000 homeowners regained equity in Q1 2016, bringing the total number of mortgaged residential properties with equity at the end of Q1 2016 to approximately 46.7 million, or 92 percent of all mortgaged properties. Nationwide, home equity increased year over year by $762 billion in Q1 2016.
The total number of mortgaged residential properties with negative equity stood at 4 million, or 8 percent of all homes with a mortgage, in Q1 2016. This is a decrease of 6.2 percent quarter over quarter from 4.3 million homes, or 8.5 percent, in Q4 2015* and a decrease of 21.5 percent year over year from 5.1 million homes, or 10.3 percent, compared with Q1 2015.
Negative equity, often referred to as “underwater” or “upside down,” applies to borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Negative equity can occur because of a decline in home value, an increase in mortgage debt or a combination of both.
For the homes in negative equity status, the national aggregate value of negative equity was $299.5 billion at the end of Q1 2016, falling approximately $11.8 billion, or 3.8 percent, from $311.3 billion in Q4 2015. On a year-over-year basis, the value of negative equity declined overall from $340 billion in Q1 2015, representing a decrease of 11.8 percent in 12 months.
Of the more than 50 million homes with a mortgage, approximately 9.1 million, or 18 percent, have less than 20 percent equity (referred to as “under-equitied”) and 1.1 million, or 2.2 percent, have less than 5 percent equity (referred to as near-negative equity). Borrowers who are under-equitied may have a difficult time refinancing their existing homes or obtaining new financing to sell and buy another home due to underwriting constraints. Borrowers with near-negative equity are considered at risk of moving into negative equity if home prices fall.
“In just the last four years, equity for homeowners with a mortgage has nearly doubled to $6.9 trillion,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The rapid increase in home equity reflects the improvement in home prices,
dwindling distressed borrowers and increased principal repayment. These are all positive factors that will provide support to both household balance sheets and the overall economy.”
“More than 1 million homeowners have escaped the negative equity trap over the past year. We expect this positive trend to continue over the balance of 2016 and into next year as home prices continue to rise,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Nationally, the CoreLogic Home Price Index was up 5.5 percent year over year through the first quarter. If home values rise another 5 percent uniformly across the U.S., the number of underwater borrowers will fall by another one million during the next year.”
Highlights as of Q1 2016:
• Nevada had the highest percentage of homes in negative equity at 17.5 percent, followed by Florida (15 percent), Illinois (14.4 percent), Rhode Island (13.3 percent) and Maryland (12.9 percent). Combined, these top five states account for 30.2 percent of negative equity in the U.S., but only 16.5 percent of outstanding mortgages.
• Texas had the highest percentage of homes with positive equity at 98.1 percent, followed by Alaska (97.8 percent), Hawaii (97.8 percent), Colorado (97.5 percent) and Washington (97.2 percent).
• Of the 10 largest metropolitan areas by population, Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV had the highest percentage of homes in negative equity at 19.9 percent, followed by Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL (19.6 percent), Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL (16.7 percent), Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (10.9 percent) and New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (6 percent).
• Of the same 10 largest metropolitan areas, San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA had the highest percentage of homes in a positive equity position at 99.4 percent, followed by Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX (98.3 percent), Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO (98.3 percent), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (96.1 percent) and Boston, MA (94.3 percent).
• Of the total $299.5 billion in negative equity nationally, first liens without home equity loans accounted for $166 billion, or 55 percent, in aggregate negative equity, while first liens with home equity loans accounted for $134 billion, or 54 percent.
• Among underwater borrowers, approximately 2.4 million hold first liens without home equity loans. The average mortgage balance for this group of borrowers is $244,000 and the average underwater amount is $68,000.
• Approximately 1.6 million of all underwater borrowers hold both first and second liens. The average mortgage balance for this group of borrowers is $307,000 and the average underwater amount is $84,000.
• The bulk of positive equity for mortgaged residential properties is concentrated at the high end of the housing market. For example, 95 percent of homes valued at $200,000 or more have equity compared with 87 percent of homes valued at less than $200,000.
*Q4 2015 data was revised. Revisions with public records data are standard, and to ensure accuracy, CoreLogic incorporates the newly released public data to provide updated results.
Methodology The amount of equity for each property is determined by comparing the estimated current value of the property against the mortgage debt outstanding (MDO). If the MDO is greater than the estimated value, then the property is determined to be in a negative equity position. If the estimated value is greater than the MDO, then the property is determined to be in a positive equity position. The data is first generated at the property level and aggregated to higher levels of geography. CoreLogic data includes 49 million properties with a mortgage, which accounts for more than 85 percent of all mortgages in the U.S. CoreLogic uses public record data as the source of the MDO, which includes both first-mortgage liens and second liens, and is adjusted for amortization and home equity utilization in order to capture the true level of MDO for each property. The calculations are not based on sampling, but rather on the full data set to avoid potential adverse selection due to sampling. The current value of the property is estimated using a suite of proprietary CoreLogic valuation techniques, including valuation models and the CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI). Only data for mortgaged residential properties that have a current estimated value is included. There are several states or jurisdictions where the public record, current value or mortgage data coverage is thin. These instances account for fewer than 5 percent of the total U.S. population.
Source: CoreLogic The data provided is for use only by the primary recipient or the primary recipient’s publication or broadcast. This data may not be re-sold, republished or licensed to any other source, including publications and sources owned by the primary recipient’s parent company without prior written permission from CoreLogic. Any CoreLogic data used for
publication or broadcast, in whole or in part, must be sourced as coming from CoreLogic, a data and analytics company. For use with broadcast or web content, the citation must directly accompany first reference of the data. If the data is illustrated with maps, charts, graphs or other visual elements, the CoreLogic logo must be included on screen or web site. For questions, analysis or interpretation of the data contact Lori Guyton at
lguyton@cvic.com or Bill Campbell at bill@campbelllewis.com. Data provided may not be modified without the prior written permission of CoreLogic. Do not use the data in any unlawful manner. This data is compiled from public records, contributory databases and proprietary analytics, and its accuracy depends upon these sources.
About CoreLogic CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider. The company’s combined data from public, contributory and proprietary sources includes over 4.5 billion records spanning more than 50 years, providing detailed coverage of property, mortgages and other encumbrances, consumer credit, tenancy, location, hazard risk and related performance information. The markets CoreLogic serves include real estate and mortgage finance, insurance, capital markets, and the public sector. CoreLogic delivers value to clients through unique data, analytics, workflow technology, advisory and managed services. Clients rely on CoreLogic to help identify and manage growth opportunities, improve performance and mitigate risk. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., CoreLogic operates in North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit www.corelogic.com.
CORELOGIC and the CoreLogic logo are trademarks of CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.