4 Million homes achieve positive equity in 2013

Posted by Julian Yates on Thursday, March 6th, 2014 at 3:03pm.

IRVINE, Calif. – March 6, 2014 – CoreLogic released new analysis showing that 4 million U.S. homes returned to positive equity in 2013. Overall, 42.7 million mortgage homeowners have equity (86.7 percent); 6.5 million homes (13.3 percent) do not.

Florida ranked second in the number of mortgaged owners who were underwater in 2013. Overall, 28.1 percent of homes with a mortgage were underwater. An additional 3.6% of mortgaged Fla. homes are barely above water.

Due to a small slowdown in the quarterly growth rate of the CoreLogic’s Home Price Index, the negative equity share was virtually unchanged from the third quarter of 2013.

Negative equity, often referred to as “underwater” or “upside down,” means that borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Negative equity can occur because of a decline in value, an increase in mortgage debt or a combination of both. Borrowers with less than 20-percent equity are referred to as “under-equitied.” Borrowers with less than 5 percent equity are considered “near-negative.”

Under-equitied mortgages accounted for 21.1 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage nationwide in 2013, with more than 1.6 million residential properties at near-negative equity.

“The plight of the underwater borrower has improved dramatically since negative equity peaked in December 2009 when more than 12 million mortgaged homeowners were underwater,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Over the past four years, more than 5.5 million homeowners have regained equity, reducing their risk of foreclosure and unlocking pent-up supply in the housing market.”

“Stability and growth in the housing market are essential for a durable recovery of the U.S. economy,” adds Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “We still have a long way to go to eliminate the negative equity overhang but significant progress is being made every day across most of the country.”

2013 report highlights

• Nevada had the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity at 30.4 percent, followed by Florida (28.1 percent), Arizona (21.5 percent), Ohio (19.0 percent) and Illinois (18.7 percent). The top five states accounted for 36.9 percent of negative equity in the United States.

• Of the 25 largest Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) based on population, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla., had the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity at 31.5 percent, followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (30.4 percent), Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. (22.1 percent), Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill. (21.4 percent) and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (19.9 percent).

• Approximately 3.9 million upside-down borrowers hold first liens without home equity loans. The average mortgage balance for this group of borrowers is $219,000. The average underwater amount is $52,000.

• Approximately 2.6 million upside-down borrowers hold both first and second liens. The average mortgage balance for this group of borrowers is $293,000. The average underwater amount is $75,000.

• The bulk of home equity for mortgaged properties is concentrated at the high end of the housing market. For example, 92 percent of homes valued at greater than $200,000 have equity compared with 81 percent of homes valued at less than $200,000.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®


Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist

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