Texas homeowners gained almost $9,000 in equity last year

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If you own a home you should be feeling a little richer.

In 2017 the average U.S. residential property gained more than $15,000 in equity – the biggest increase in four years according to analysts at CoreLogic Inc.

Overall home equity – the amount of value owners have over what they owe -increased by more than $900 billion across the country.

That reduced the number of homeowners who are underwater with a mortgage to just under 5 percent.

The negative equity rate is even lower in Texas – 1.5 percent.

And in Dallas-Fort Worth just 1.3 percent of homeowners with a loan owe more than the property is worth, CoreLogic estimates.

In 2010 almost 14 percent of Dallas-area homeowners owed lenders more than their home was worth.

With the ongoing housing sector recovery, the amount of equity Americans have in their homes has steadily risen in the last few years.

More than a quarter of U.S. homeowners were upside down in their mortgage at the worst of the housing crash almost a decade ago.

"Home-price growth has been the primary driver of home-equity wealth creation," Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, said in the new report. "Because wealth gains spur additional consumer purchases, the rise in home-equity wealth during 2017 should add more than $50 billion to U.S. consumption spending over the next two to three years."

Among major U.S. markets, metro areas with the highest rates of negative home equity in the fourth quarter of 2017 included Miami (13.1 percent) Chicago (10.1 percent) and Las Vegas (9.2 percent), CoreLogic said.

Texas homeowners on average gained almost $9,000 in home equity in 2017.

The largest average home equity gains were in California ($44,000) and Washington State ($40,000).

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