Here’s where homeowners retain the most equity

Hundred dollar bills in shape of house

Because of bigger mortgages and falling prices, American homeowners hold less than 50% of the equity in their property for the first time since the Federal Reserve began keeping records in 1945.

Lenders and investors who hold the mortgages now own more than half.

That's a big concern because home equity -- the difference between what a home is worth and how much is owed on mortgages -- is the biggest source of wealth and savings for many Americans.

But families retain 60% or more of the equity in their home in a few places -- mostly small cities where prices didn't soar in the early 2000s and always required modest mortgages.

Here's where homeowners have fared the best, according to Forbes magazine.

1. Beaumont, Texas. 75% of their home's value, with average home equity of $76,458.

2. Corpus Christi, Texas. 72%, with average equity of $83,912.

3. Gulfport, Miss. 71%, with average equity of $85,997.

4. Charleston, W. Va. 67%, with average equity of $63,521.

5. El Paso, Texas. 67%, with average equity of $71,565.

6. Scranton, Pa. 66%, with average equity of $69,640.

7. Utica, N.Y. 66%, with average equity of $54,171.

8. Honolulu, Hawaii. 65%, with average equity of $249,915.

9. Mobile, Ala. 65%, with average equity of $68,498.

10. Baton Rouge, La. 65%, with average equity of $89,240.