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Black Knight’s October 2018 Mortgage Monitor

Total Tappable Equity Falls for First Time Since Housing Recovery Began; Softening Home Prices in the Most Equity-Rich Markets Driving Decline

Black Knight’s October 2018 Mortgage Monitor
  • Total equity on mortgaged properties now stands at $9.8 trillion, $5.9 trillion of which is tappable
  • Tappable equity – the amount available for homeowners with mortgages to borrow against before hitting a maximum 80 percent combined loan-to-value (LTV) ratio – fell by $140 billion in Q3 2018
  • A total of 43.6 million homeowners have tappable equity available, approximately 272,000 fewer than in Q2 2018
  • The average homeowner with at least 20 percent equity in their home has $136,000 in tappable equity available, about $2,300 less than in the last quarter
  • Tappable equity declined in 60 of the nation’s 100 largest markets in Q3 2018, with softening home prices in the most equity-rich among them driving the decline
  • California alone accounted for nearly 75 percent of the total decline in tappable equity, as markets continue to react to rising interest rates and tightening affordability

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dec. 10, 2018 – Today, the Data & Analytics division of Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) released its latest Mortgage Monitor Report, based on data as of the end of October 2018. This month, Black Knight looked at full Q3 2018 data to revisit the U.S. home equity landscape, finding that quarterly declines were seen in both total equity and tappable equity, the amount available for homeowners with mortgages to borrow against before hitting a maximum 80 percent combined loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. Ben Graboske, executive vice president of Black Knight’s Data & Analytics division, explained that the decline is being driven by home prices pulling back on a quarterly basis in some of the nation’s most expensive housing markets.

“After seeing a significant slowdown in its growth from the first to second quarters of 2018, the amount of tappable equity fell by $140 billion in Q3 2018,” said Graboske. “That is the first decline we’ve seen since the housing recovery began, and its cause can be traced directly to softening home prices in some of the nation’s most expensive – and equity- rich – markets. Indeed, tappable equity fell in 60 of the 100 largest markets, including 12 of the top 15. Three markets in California alone – San Jose, San Francisco and Los Angeles – accounted for 55 percent of the total net decline. Add Seattle into the mix, and you see that just four markets were behind two-thirds of the net reduction in tappable equity. All were areas where home price growth has far outpaced the national average in recent years, but in which prices fell in Q3 2018 – from as little as one percent in Los Angeles, to a 4.6 percent drop in San Jose.

“Of course, there is still $9.8 trillion in total home equity in the market, some $5.9 trillion of which is tappable. That’s $571 billion more than in Q3 2017, and tappable equity remains near an all-time high. It’s also important to remember that in general third quarters are relatively flat as far as home prices are concerned, and that tappable equity is up on an annual basis in 98 percent of major metro areas. But the fact remains that affordability concerns are beginning to have an impact on home prices, particularly in more expensive markets, and as a result, on homeowner equity as well.

Interestingly enough – although for-sale inventory is up on an annual basis for the first time in four years – an analysis of listings on mortgaged properties suggests that homeowners reluctant to put their current homes on the market due to ‘rate lock’ or ‘affordability lock’ may still be holding down available inventory by about six percent. By constraining the supply of available homes, this in turn may be countering what might otherwise be greater downward pressure on home prices.”

Other results from the quarterly equity data showed that just 1.8 percent of homeowners remain underwater, owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. For those with equity, the average homeowner with a mortgage has $191,000 in equity in his or her home. Among those with tappable equity, the average amount available to borrow against is $136,000. In total, over 50 million homeowners with mortgages have some amount of equity in their home, 43.6 million of which have tappable equity – a decline of approximately 272,000 from this time last year.

As was reported in Black Knight’s most recent First Look news release, other key results include:

Total U.S. loan delinquency rate: 3.64%
Month-over-month change in delinquency rate: -8.19%
Total U.S. foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate: 0.52%
Month-over-month change in foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate: -0.54%
States with highest percentage of non-current* loans: MS, LA, AL, WV, AR
States with lowest percentage of non-current* loans: ND, ID, WA, OR, CO
States with highest percentage of seriously delinquent** loans: MS, LA, AL, AR, TN

*Non-current totals combine foreclosures and delinquencies as a percent of active loans in that state.
**Seriously delinquent loans are those past-due 90 days or more.
Totals are extrapolated based on Black Knight’s loan-level database of mortgage assets.


About the Mortgage Monitor

The Data & Analytics division of Black Knight manages the nation’s leading repository of loan-level residential mortgage data and performance information on the majority of the overall market, including tens of millions of loans across the spectrum of credit products and more than 160 million historical records. The company’s research experts carefully analyze this data to produce a summary supplemented by dozens of charts and graphs that reflect trend and point-in-time observations for the monthly Mortgage Monitor Report. To review the full report, visit: https://www.blackknightinc.com/data-reports/

About Black Knight

Black Knight (NYSE:BKI) is a leading provider of integrated software, data and analytics solutions that facilitate and automate many of the business processes across the homeownership lifecycle.

As a leading fintech, Black Knight is committed to being a premier business partner that clients rely on to achieve their strategic goals, realize greater success and better serve their customers by delivering best-in-class software, services and insights with a relentless commitment to excellence, innovation, integrity and leadership.​ For more information on Black Knight, please visit http://www.blackknightinc.com/.

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