Not Everyone Is Benefiting From The Housing Market Recovery

Many middle class owners have negative equity, and people with lower incomes are having trouble obtaining low-down payment mortgages

December 20, 2016

The shape of the housing market is starting to resemble pre-recession levels, as home equity is as high as ever. But, the recovery is lopsided.

MarketWatch reports while many Americans towards the top are faring well, the middle class is struggling with low homeownership rates and negative equity.

It’s worth noting that nearly 4 million homeowners are still in negative equity, according to CoreLogic data. Also, as Regions chief economist Richard Moody pointed out in a research note, 30% of all owner-occupied households have no mortgage debt at all, meaning that the 50 million households that do have mortgages have less than the 57% equity that’s presented in the flow of funds data roll-up.

Low-down payment mortgages aren’t helping a certain segment of the population. Instead of lower income workers, the mortgages are often going to high earners who haven’t yet saved enough money. People with lower credit scores have begun to give up on applying for low-down payment mortgages.

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