Aug 4, 2017

Home equity has increased nationwide as the number of underwater homes declined due to continued annual home price appreciation, according to Black Knight Financial Services’ latest report.

"December 2016 marked 56 consecutive months of annual home price appreciation," said Ben Graboske, data & analytics executive vice president at Black Knight. "That served to not only lift an additional one million formerly underwater homeowners back into positive equity throughout the year, but also increased the amount of accessible equity available to U.S. mortgage holders by an additional $568 billion.”

Currently, 39.5 million homeowners have enough equity in their homes to provide them with combined loan-to-value ratios of less than 80%. The fourth quarter of 2016 saw $31 billion in equity taken out of the market as first-lien refinances, which is the most equity drawn in over eight years.