Home values are increasing nationwide, which may mean good news for current homeowners. That’s because, as home values rise, so does the equity you have in your home.

Many focus on the dollar value of home equity, but there’s a difference between high home equity and high home equity as compared to home value. The former fails to acknowledge the vast difference in home values from state to state and accounts for how much of your home you actually own.

    Today’s Homeowner sought to answer, how does your equity compare to the value of your home?

    By examining the home value and equity data from 50 states and Washington D.C., we found out which states have the most and least home equity. We also discuss how that figure compares to the percentage of individuals who fully own their homes.

    Main Findings

    Hawaiian homeowners have the highest home equity in gross value ($473,886) and as a percentage of relative to the median home value (65.6%).

    New Englanders own significant portions of their homes. Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island all rank in the top 10 states with the most home equity as a percentage of median home value.

    Homeowners in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland hold the lowest amount of home equity compared to home value.

    More than half of residents have paid off their mortgages in only two states: West Virginia (53.8%) and Mississippi (51.4%).

    What Is Home Equity?

    Home equity is the amount of your home that you actually own. It’s the difference between your home’s current value and what you owe on your mortgage. Your home equity increases as you pay off your mortgage but can also rise and fall alongside your assessed property value.

    For context, the average U.S. homeowner has $136,483 in equity, less than half (48.5%) of the average home value ($281,400). 

    You’ve also likely heard of “home equity loans,” or HELOC. These loans allow homeowners to borrow against their home equity to pay for large purchases or finance home improvement projects that can further increase their property value. Most lenders require at least 15% to 20% equity in your home to take out a HELOC.

    How to Calculate Home Equity

    If you’re looking to determine your home equity, the equation will look like this:

    Home value – remaining mortgage balance = home equity

    For example, let’s say you buy a $250,000 home with a 10% down payment ($25,000). You currently have $25,000 of equity in your new home.

    $250,000 home value – $225,000 mortgage balance = $25,000 home equity

    Five years later, you’ve paid down some of your mortgage, and you now have $190,000 left to pay your mortgage. Your new equity is $60,000.

    $250,000 home value – $190,000 mortgage owed = $60,000 home equity

    It’s important to note that these figures don’t account for mortgage loan interest or factors that can affect your property’s value, like home upgrades and changes in your local housing market. Also, if you have a reasonably priced home warranty, it shouldn’t affect your equity much, but it can increase your home value.

    Top 10 States With the Most Home Equity As a Percent of Value

    1. Hawaii

    Good news for Hawaiian homeowners: homes are most valuable in the Aloha State, with the median home valued at $722,500 — a 15% increase since 2018. The average home equity is more than 65% of that home value, which earns Hawaii the title of the state with the most home equity. As it turns out, Hawaiians are also the most “equity rich,” with the average home equity over $470,000, far above the national average of $136,483.

    • Home equity as a percentage of value: 65.6%
    • Average home value: $722,500
    • Average home equity: $473,886

    2. Vermont

    Vermont has been top of the list of popular moving destinations for two consecutive years, so it’s no surprise that the Green Mountain State is seeing an increase in home value, up more than 17% since 2018. In our findings, Vermont came in at the No. 2 spot, with average home equity making up 62.5% of the typical home value ($271,500). 

    • Home equity as a percentage of value: 62.5%
    • Average home value: $271,500
    • Average home equity: $169,620

    3. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire has also seen a rise in popularity in the past couple of years, and with that, home values have spiked a whopping 28% since 2018. The average home value now sits around $345,200, with the average New Hampshire homeowner holding over 62% of equity. However, Granite Staters pay an above-average monthly mortgage of $2,004, significantly higher than the national average payment of $1,697.

    • Home equity as a percentage of value: 62.3%
    • Average home value: $345,200
    • Average home equity: $214,906

    4. Montana

    Montana homes have seen a big boost in value in recent years, up nearly 30% since 2018. That allows Montanans to enjoy higher-than-average home equity of $199,865, valued at almost 62% of their home value. Yet, the average Montana homeowner still enjoys a below-average monthly mortgage of $1,558.

    • Home equity as a percentage of value: 61.9%
    • Average home value: $322,800
    • Average home equity: $199,865

    5. Maine

    Maine has been quite the hotspot for home buyers over the past two years, allowing it to climb the ranks regarding home equity. The average home price has increased by nearly 30% since 2018. Yet, the average homeowner still pays a relatively affordable $1,558 monthly mortgage, which is $114 cheaper than the national average.

    • Home equity as a percentage of value: 61.6%
    • Average home value: $252,100
    • Average home equity: $155,353

    6. West Virginia

    West Virginians have one of the lowest average home equities in the country at $85,653 on average. Yet, it earns the No 6. spot for high home equity as a percentage of home value at just under 60%.

    The Mountain State currently holds the title of the most affordable state to buy a home, with the typical homeowner paying a monthly mortgage of $1,071. West Virginia homes have also seen an 18% increase in value since 2018. The rising home value and low average monthly mortgage payments make it easy to understand how West Virginia has a higher percentage of home equity.

    • Home equity as a percentage of value: 59.8%
    • Average home value: $143,200
    • Average home equity: $85,653

    7. Idaho

    The typical Idaho homeowner owns about 60% of their home, the seventh-highest in our study. Specifically, the average home equity for homeowners is roughly $220,600, and the median home value stands at $369,300. 

    • Home equity as a percentage of value: 59.7%
    • Average home value: $369,300
    • Average home equity: $220,602

    8. Massachusetts

    Based on equity richness, Massachusetts is home to some of the country’s wealthiest homeowners. The state’s average equity of $280,549 is the fourth highest in the country  

    behind Hawaii, California, and Washington D.C. Although moving trends reveal people are leaving the Bay State, home values have increased nearly 20% since 2018, now up to $424,700, with the monthly mortgage payment at $2,323.

    • Home equity as a percentage of value: 58.4%
    • Average home value: $424,700
    • Average home equity: $280,549

    9. Rhode Island

    Coming in at No. 9 is the small state of Rhode Island, where the typical homeowner holds more than 58% home equity compared to the median home value ($348,100). Home prices have skyrocketed in Rhode Island in recent years, up over 27% since 2018 and over 40% since 2016. 

    • Home equity as a percentage of value: 58.2%
    • Average home value: $348,100
    • Average home equity: $202,677

    10. Oregon

    Second to Vermont, Oregon saw the highest percentage increase of new residents in 2022. Home values in the Beaver State have risen nearly 24% since 2016 and a notable 47% since 2018. Oregonians hold roughly 58% of home equity compared to average home value of $422,700, landing the state in the top 10 for most home equity. Additionally, Oregonians have the sixth highest equity value, with the typical homeowner worth $245,675.

    • Home equity as a percentage of value: 58.1%
    • Average home value: $422,700
    • Average home equity: $245,675

    How Does Home Equity Compare to the Share of Individuals Who Own Their Homes?

    Though someone is considered a homeowner once the papers are signed, you don’t truly own your home until the mortgage is paid off. Until then, you technically co-own your home with your mortgage lender.

    Because people pay off their mortgages at different rates and home values appreciate unevenly by state, there’s no one-to-one correlation between states with the highest percentage of home equity and the share of individuals who have paid off their homes. However, it’s interesting to examine the trends between the two.

    Of our top 10 states with the most home equity, West Virginia is the only state where more than half of homeowners (53.8%) have paid-off mortgages. Mississippi is the only other state where that rings true, with 51.4% of homeowners paying off their mortgages.

    Massachusetts and Rhode Island have the lowest rate of full homeownership on our top 10 list, with just 32.1% of people with paid-off homes.

    While Hawaii has the highest percentage of home equity (65.6%) and the highest average home equity value ($473,886), only 35.8% of Hawaiian homeowners have paid off their homes.


    Today’s Homeowner considered data for all 50 states and Washington, D.C, to determine states with the highest and lowest percentages of home equity. For each place, we studied  the following two metrics:

    • Home equity as a percentage of home value:  This is the average amount of home equity a homeowner has compared to the median home value in the state. 
    • Percentage of people who own their home: This is the number of homeowners without a mortgage compared to all homeowners. 

    Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2021 1-year American Community Survey and Experian. We also considered data from the Census Bureau’s 2016 and 2018 1-year American Community Surveys for additional context.

    Fair Use Policy

    We encourage journalists and reporters to share our research on home equity. If you choose to do so, please link back to our original story to give us proper credit for our research.

    Questions about our study? Contact media@todayshomeowner.org.

    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Kristina Zagame

    Kristina Zagame

    Senior Staff Writer

    Kristina Zagame is a journalist with a background in finance, home improvement and solar energy. She aims to simplify data and information so homeowners feel well-equipped to take on their dream home projects.

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    photo of Alexis Curls

    Alexis Curls

    Content Marketing Manager

    Alexis Curls is a content strategist on the Today’s Homeowner team. She specializes in home services research. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations.

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