One in four homeowners in America right now is "equity rich" — which is to say they owe 50 percent or less of what their property is worth — according to a new survey.

But ATTOM Data Solutions says New Jersey is just a little behind the curve — only 22 percent of NJ residents meet that definition.

Senior Vice President Daren Blomquist said this enviable situation for some is due in part to the continuing housing recovery.

Hudson, Bergen Cape May, Morris, Monmouth and Somerset counties are the most equity rich. Blomquist says its boils down to jobs.

"Where there are jobs and population growth, people are moving and there is wage growth," he said.

At the other end is Atlantic County, with 29 percent of property owners "under water" —owing more than their properties are worth. It's followed by Essex, Sussex, Warren and Passaic counties.

Blomquist said an area such as Atlantic County is the prime example of a place that has experienced more problems in the economy and job loss over the last few years.

"That is where the housing market also is struggling to regain its value after the great recession," he said.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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