Catherine Reagor, The Republic | September 26, 2014

In metro Phoenix’s housing market, there are the haves and have-nots, those homeowners who have equity and those who don’t.

Anyone who bought a house or refinanced in the Valley between February 2005 and July 2008 still most likely owes more than their house is worth, according to the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

Homeowners who purchased before May 2004 and didn’t refinance between early 2005 and mid-2009 should have equity in their house, said Tom Ruff, real-estate analyst with the Information Market, owned by ARMLS.

For the home equity haves and have-nots, it’s all about the Valley’s housing boom and bust.

The analysis is based on median homes prices in the area. In February 2005, near the beginning of the housing boom, the median resale price in the Phoenix area was $188,900. In May 2006, the resale median hit a record of $253,500 and remained above $200,000 until the summer of 2008.

In August 2008, metro Phoenix’s median resale price fell to $190,000. Currently, the area’s median is about $196,000.

The percentage of homeowners underwater plummeted to 19.5 percent by June 30 this year from almost 50 percent in 2009, according to national real-estate researcher CoreLogic’s most recent report released Thursday.

The haves, those homeowners with equity, can sell, but many are staying put for now because there are few buyers in the Valley. Home sales have slowed dramatically in the area this year compared with 2012 and 2013.

Home-price increases have slowed with sales. That means fewer of the have-nots will have equity in their houses soon, a fact that could impact a home-sales rebound.

But Phoenix-area homeowners who haven’t seen their house’s value climb above what they paid or refinanced it for during the boom can take solace in the fact that they are better off than homeowners in other states hit hard by the crash.

Approximately 26.3 percent of Nevada homeowners are still underwater. In Florida, the rate is 24.3 percent.