7 Million Homeowners Have Middling Equity

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People who are breaking even aren’t motivated to sell, creating a lack of inventory

February 09, 2017

Photo: SanjibLemar/Wikimedia Commons

Homeowners stuck in the middle are having trouble selling.

According to statistics from Attom Data Solutions, nearly seven million homeowners have between 10 percent negative equity and 10 percent positive equity.

MarketWatch reports that people with middling equity find selling their home to be more trouble than it’s worth. A lack of sellers has kept inventory levels exceptionally low and created a dearth of move-up buyers.

The few who seek trade-up homes are usually homeowners whose properties have greatly appreciated in value.

That may mean there will be more building in markets where there are lots of equity-rich homeowners, Attom senior VP Daren Blomquist said, even as homeowners in other markets remain underwater and normal market churn slows to a crawl. Blomquist estimates that the number of homeowners who are underwater nationally will get back to a level he considers normal, less than 5%, within the next 12-18 months.

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