Study Finds Gen X Homeowners Lacking in Equity

Written by Phil Hall, as seen on National Mortgage Professional News, July 18, 2017

While many people are ready to tuck the housing crash into the history books, its residue is still being felt by Gen X homeowners with minimal equity gains, according the latest Zillow Home Equity Report. Indeed, the Gen X demographic has almost as much equity as Millennials homeowners, even though the latter had far less time to gain equity.
Zillow found that the typical Millennial homeowner—someone less than 35 years old—owed their lender about 76 percent of their home’s current value, while the median Gen X homeowner—someone between 35 to 50 years old—owed 70 percent of their home’s value. In comparison, Baby Boomers owed about 56 percent of their home’s value, while seniors with a mortgage owed 45 percent.
“Roughly half of American wealth is held in home equity,” said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. “Paying off the home mortgage is a key step toward retirement for most Americans, and it’s clear from these results that Generation X is further from that goal than older generations because of the Great Recession. The good news is that home values are still growing relatively fast in most places, building up home equity for homeowners who rely on the investment they’ve made in their home.”
Zillow also found the median homeowner with a mortgage has $78,683 in home equity, while homeowners who own their homes outright typically have $177,158 in home equity. The median homeowner has a loan-to-value ratio of 62.2, or owes 62.2 percent of their home’s current value, while 75.7 percent of homeowners have at least 20 percent equity in their homes. Five percent of mortgaged homeowners are close to owning their homes free and clear, but 10.4 percent of mortgaged homeowners have negative equity.

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