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Home equity levels have been steadily returning since the recession years, however, the latest findings from ATTOM Data Solutions show that while equity is still on the positive side, the most recent gains are not quite as strong.

The latest stats show 9.3 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage were seriously underwater at the end of 2017, down from 9.6 percent a year ago. However, this was the smallest year-over-year decrease in share of seriously underwater properties since ATTOM began tracking this data at the beginning of 2012.

Across the U.S. 25.4 percent of all properties with a mortgage were equity rich at the end of 2017, up from 24.6 percent a year ago. This was the smallest year-over-year increase in share of equity rich properties since the third quarter of 2015.

The share of homeowners with at least 20 percent equity dropped 1.1 percentage points from a year ago, while the share of homeowners with between 10 percent equity and 10 percent negative equity increased 1.1 percentage points from a year ago. According to ATTOM, this indicates that homeowners are increasingly leveraging their equity to sell and move up into another home or by refinancing.

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