Silicon Valley Claims the Nation’s Top 5 Neighborhoods for Equity-Rich Homeowners

  • There were 14.5 million equity-rich U.S. homeowners in the third quarter, a new record high.
  • As in previous quarters, the San Jose and San Francisco metropolitan areas had the most equity-rich homeowners.
  • Nearly 90 percent of owners in three Sunnyvale ZIP codes are classified as equity-rich, the most in the country.

Interior of a home in Palo Alto, CaliforniaThe number of U.S. homeowners who are considered equity-rich reached a new high in the third quarter, with Bay Area cities once again leading the pack for that metric.

ATTOM Data Solutions’ latest U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report says that there were 14.5 million equity-rich properties in the third quarter, defined as those where the owner owes 50 percent or less of a home’s value against the mortgage. That’s a new all-time high since the company began tracking such data and represents 25.7 percent of Americans with a mortgage.

In a statement accompanying the report, ATTOM Data Solutions Senior Vice President Daren Blomquist said that even though price appreciation has recently moderated, more owners are accruing equity because of the length of time that they have lived in their homes. Several weeks ago, the company’s third-quarter report that found owners who sold in the third quarter had been in their homes for an average of 8.23 years, the longest amount of time on record.

As in the second quarter, California boasted the highest share of equity-rich homeowners in the nation, at 42.5 percent. On the flip side on the coin, just 4.1 percent of Golden State properties are categorized as seriously underwater, meaning those where the owner owes 25 percent or more than the home’s estimated market value.

The San Jose metro area continues to lead the country for the number of equity-rich homeowners, at 73.9 percent in the third quarter. San Francisco followed in the No. 2 spot, with 59.8 percent of properties classified as equity-rich, while 47.6 percent of owners in No. 3 Los Angeles have at least 50 percent equity in their homes.

In many Silicon Valley communities, the number of equity-rich homeowners is even higher than in the overall metro area. Sunnyvale claims the nation’s top three ZIP codes with the most equity-rich owners: 94087 (87.1 percent), 94085 (86.7 percent), and 94086 (86.7 percent) Redwood City‘s 94063 ZIP code and San Jose’s 95130 round out the top five, with a respective 85.9 percent and 85.7 percent of properties deemed equity-rich.