A homeowner who purchased a median-priced home in 2004 and held it for nine years - the average tenure in a home - would now have $28,114 in equity, according to the National Association of Realtors.
That number, which includes combined price appreciation and paying down of the monthly mortgage principle, is derived from national averages.
Homeowners who purchased in 2006 and 2007 - during the peak of the market - have faced the biggest falls in home prices, but NAR researchers note they are "nearly in positive equity" territory.
A homeowner who bought a home in 2006, for example, and owned through 2012 would have been underwater by about $28,200. However, by this year, that downfall has lessened to $4,700.
Home prices surged 11.3 percent this year compared to 2012, according to the latest housing data from NAR. The rise in home prices has pulled more homeowners out from underwater with the return of equity this year.