Household holdings of real estate, measured on a not seasonally adjusted basis, totaled $22.029 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2015, $1.255 trillion higher than its level in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s fourth quarter of 2015 release of its Financial Accounts of the United States report, writes Michael Neal of the National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog.
Home mortgage debt outstanding rose by $90 billion over the same four-quarter period and was $9.491 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Since the total value of household-held real estate rose faster than the aggregate amount of mortgage debt outstanding, then home equity held by households grew. Over the year, total home equity held by households grew by $1.165 trillion, 10.2%, to $12.539 trillion. Household’s home equity is now 56.9% of household real estate.
Between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the fourth quarter of 2015, the total amount of household equity has grown from $8.1 trillion to $12.5 trillion. This increase represents a gain of 55%. Meanwhile, over the same time period, the share of households underwater fell from 21.6% to 8.5%, a decline of 13.1 percentage points.