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California tops equity gains in Q4

California tops equity gains in Q4

By Ron Trujillo/

California homeowners enjoyed the biggest gain in equity during the fourth quarter in the nation, the latest evidence of a booming housing market in the state.

The average homeowner in the state had a $44,500 increase in equity during the final three months of the year, compared to fourth-quarter 2016, according to CoreLogic.

California’s eye-opening gain is almost three times more than the average equity increase of $15,100 nationwide. Washington state, which has often led the equity increase during the past six quarters, finished in second-place at $40,000. Nevada and Utah tied for the third-largest increase at $27,000.

As equity soars in California, negative equity slows. Only 3% of homes with mortgages are underwater – homeowners owe more than the value of their home – during fourth-quarter 2017. San Francisco has the lowest percentage of underwater mortgages at 0.6% in the nation, while Los Angeles is three times greater at 1.8%, but still one of the lowest in the U.S.

Nationwide, 4.9% of homes nationwide were underwater during the final three months of 2017, according to CoreLogic.

Feature photo by Vladislav Gurfinkel/Shutterstock

You’ll never guess the best rental market in the state

The Bay Area grabs a lot of attention with bidding wars for million-dollar homes, but for investor-landlords, San Francisco and Silicon Valley pale with the nifty profit in another Valley.

Kings County – better known as Hanford and Corcoran – is the best housing market for investors in the state, with a 20% increase in potential rent, much better than the 4% to 5% gains in Santa Clara County, Los Angeles and Orange County, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. San Francisco was the least likely to generate a hefty payoff at 3.7%.

Kings County benefits from higher wages and still-affordable home prices with a median price of about $225,000, according to the California Association of Realtors.

But bargain-hunting investors are finding few available homes in the Bay Are and Southern California, and rent increases have been modest in recent months. Pay a lot, but get little in return, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

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