Black Knight Financial Services recently reported that America’s underwater borrower population has fallen below two million for first time since 2006. They found that rising home prices have both decreased the number of borrowers underwater on their mortgages while increasing the amount of “tappable or lendable” equity available to homeowners. The data is from their First Look report for May 2017, which is taken from month-end mortgage performance statistics derived from its loan-level database representing the majority of the national mortgage market.
According to the report:
- The number of underwater borrowers declined by 16% in the first three months of 2017
- 350k borrowers regained equity in Q1 2017, bringing the total underwater population down to 1.8 million
- The underwater population has fallen by nearly one million borrowers since last year, a 35% annual decline
- Nearly half of remaining underwater borrowers live in the bottom 20% of homes by price in their markets
- Tappable equity has risen by $695 billion from last year, bringing total lendable equity to just under $5 trillion
- Over 40 million Americans have tappable equity available in their homes today; the largest population on record