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Friday, June 07, 2024

The "Home ATM" Mostly Closed in Q1

by Calculated Risk on 6/07/2024 01:15:00 PM

Today, in the Real Estate Newsletter: The "Home ATM" Mostly Closed in Q1


During the housing bubble, many homeowners borrowed heavily against their perceived home equity - jokingly calling it the “Home ATM” - and this contributed to the subsequent housing bust, since so many homeowners had negative equity in their homes when house prices declined.

Unlike during the housing bubble, very few homeowners have negative equity now. From CoreLogic this morning: Homeowner Equity Insights – Q1 2024
CoreLogic analysis shows U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 62% of all properties*) have seen their equity increase by a total of $1.5 trillion since the first quarter of 2023, a gain of 9.6% year over year.

In the first quarter of 2024, the total number of mortgaged residential properties with negative equity decreased by 2.1%  from the fourth quarter of 2023, representing 1 million homes, or 1.8% of all mortgaged properties. On a year-over-year basis, negative equity declined by 16.1% from 1.2 million homes, or 2.1% of all mortgaged properties, from the first quarter of 2023.
Mortgage Equity WithdrawalHere is the quarterly increase in mortgage debt from the Federal Reserve’s Financial Accounts of the United States - Z.1 (sometimes called the Flow of Funds report) released today. In the mid ‘00s, there was a large increase in mortgage debt associated with the housing bubble.

In Q1 2024, mortgage debt increased $38 billion, down from $91 billion in Q4, and down from the cycle peak of $467 billion in Q2 2021. Note the almost 7 years of declining mortgage debt as distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) wiped out a significant amount of debt.

However, some of this debt is being used to increase the housing stock (purchase new homes), so this isn’t all Mortgage Equity Withdrawal (MEW).
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