Did your home lose value in the first quarter?

CoreLogic reports the average homeowner with a mortgage lost $5,400

Photo (c) d3sign - Getty Images

Home equity for the average homeowner with a mortgage declined in the first quarter for the first time since 2012. But the decline was far from a market “crash” many predicted – and some hoped for – in 2022.

A report from CoreLogic, a property information firm, found the average U.S. home lost about $5,400 in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same quarter in 2022. That leaves the average homeowner with about $274,000 in equity.

Of course, that’s just the average. Depending on where you live your equity situation could be quite different.

For example, average home equity declined by $74,000 in Washington State and $60,000 in California. In fact, most western states that saw big increases in home values during the pandemic saw prices fall the most.

At the same time, homeowners in some other areas of the country saw their homes increase in value. Home equity rose $25,000 in Florida, $24,000 in Rhode Island and $23,000 in Maine. CoreLogic provided this map showing states where homeowners lost equity and others gained.

Photo“Home equity trends closely follow home price changes,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Selma Hepp. “As a result, while the average amount of equity declined from a year ago, it increased from the fourth quarter of 2022, as monthly home prices growth accelerated in early 2023.”

Hepp says many people who purchased homes last year have gained no equity in the last 12 months but she expects that to change as home prices continue to rise again, albeit at a much slower pace.

Hepp also notes that a lot of homeowner’s equity was gained during the pandemic. Before the pandemic, she says the average homeowner had about $182,000 in home equity.

A few homeowners have negative equity, meaning they owe more on their mortgage than the home is worth. While that was a big problem contributing to the 2008 housing market crash, it’s much less of a concern now.

CoreLogic reports that from the fourth quarter of 2022 to the first quarter of 2023, the total number of mortgaged homes in negative equity was unchanged, remaining at 1.2 million homes or 2.1% of all mortgaged properties.

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