Underwater mortgages dropping

by Justin da Rosa24 Jun 2015
New stats from CoreLogic show that 254,000 homes regained equity in the first quarter of this year, and the share of underwater mortgages has dropped to 10.2 percent.

Across the country, borrower equity increased $694 billion year-over-year in Q1 of 2015 and there are now only 5.1 million homes in America currently with negative equity.

"The CoreLogic Home Price Index for the U.S. was up 2.5 percent during the first quarter of 2015, which has improved the equity position of homeowners," Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic ,said in an official release. "About 90 percent of homeowners now have housing equity and, as a result, have experienced an increase in wealth, which can spur additional consumption and investment expenditures. The remaining 10 percent of owners with negative equity will find their home value rising while they continue to pay down principal on their amortizing mortgage loan."

Five states currently house the majority of underwater homes, according to CoreLogic, a California-based financial services analytics firm.

Those five states, which account for 31.4 percent of all underwater mortgages are; Nevada (23.1%), Florida (21.2%), Illinois (16.8%), Arizona (16.8%) and Rhode Island (15.7%).

The peak for underwater mortgages was in 2012, when about 30 percent of homes were in negative equity.

The stats coincide with recently released data on individuals holding underwater mortgages.

Black Knight Financial stated in its May Mortgage Monitor report that negative equity is on an overall downward trend.

“Our most recent data shows that just over eight percent of borrowers are currently underwater on their mortgages, representing a nearly 30 percent reduction in the negative equity rate since last year,” said Ben Graboske, senior vice president of data and analytics at Black Knight.

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