Topic Summary: A report released this week by the Federal Reserve indicated rising home values are improving the overall net worth of many Americans. (See below on how to get a snapshot of your home's value)

The Federal Reserve is out with their 2ndquarter analysis of household net worth. The Reserve states that as home values rise, many groups in the economy are doing better than previous quarters, including Homeowners. U.S. households' net worth - the value of homes, stocks and other investments minus debts and other liabilities - rose 1.8% to $74.82 trillion in 2ndquarter of this year, according to the report. That is the highest level since records began in 1945.

Caution is advised here for those that do not feel this "increased wealth". A large percentage of the growth is in the form of investments as the stock market has been doing well in recent quarters.

For most, the home represents their largest social and economic investment. A high tide, however, does not help all homeowners. In the 2nd quarter of this year, the value of residential real estate owned by households increased about $525 billion. There are approximately 12.2 million homeowners who still owe more than their homes are currently worth. The tone of the report, FOUND HERE, appears to be that things are getting better for homeowners because higher home values mean more home equity. The national median existing single-family home price was $203,500 in the second quarter, up 12.2 percent from $181,300 in the second quarter of 2012. (Source Nat. Association of Realtors)


How to arrive at a rough estimate of your Home Equity.

 Even though Home Values have risen in most all parts of the country, they are still not back to the levels found in 2006 and 2007 before the housing crash. There are only two values you need to arrive at your home equity: What your home is worth and what you owe on it. Your recent mortgage statement will tell you what you owe as a first mortgage, then add in any home equity loans or 2ndmortgages. Subtract this figure from what the fair market value for your home is. You can get a quick analysis done by the real estate professional that enrolled you in HomeActions. On the left you can click their email link or call your Realtor.


When it comes to households that are underwater, Core Logic's latest Equity Report indicated that 2.5 million homes have "returned to positive equity". This is good news for the real estate market because it means more homeowners may be willing to sell their home for a profit and fewer homes will get foreclosed on.

Negative equity is when the value of your home is less than the outstanding balance of the mortgage. The amount of homes that remain in negative equity is only 14.5% for the second quarter of the year. This fairs very well when compared to CoreLogic's  last report showing 19.8% underwater households in the first quarter of 2013. In the last year, the number of negative equity households dropped 33%.