Morning Briefing: These two markets stand-out for underwater homes

These two markets stand-out for underwater homes… Freddie says “homeownership works”… Mortgage applications up 9 per cent…

These two markets stand-out for underwater homes
As much of the country continues to rebound from the housing crash, there are two areas which stand-out as leading the level of underwater properties.

Zillow’s figures show that nationally, 12.7 per cent of homeowners with a mortgage are in negative equity, down from a peak of 31.4 per cent in 2012.

While there is improvement in many areas, Chicago has come out as the large market with the highest rate of underwater homes, slightly surpassing Las Vegas in the first quarter of 2016.

Although half of its 41.1 per cent peak, Chicago’s level of homes with mortgages in negative equity is still 20.3 per cent with Vegas at 20.2 per cent, down from a peak of 71 per cent! Baltimore (17.2 per cent), Cleveland, OH (16.6 per cent) and St. Louis, MO (16.0 per cent) are also high-rankers.

San Jose, CA has the lowest level of underwater homes at 2.8 per cent, down from its 2012 peak of 22.7 per cent. San Francisco (4.4 per cent) is the only other major market with a level below 5 per cent.
Freddie says “homeownership works”
Three quarters of US homeowners aged 55 or older say they expect to be financially comfortable in retirement.

A survey by Freddie Mac found that those born before 1961 are confident in their finances and happy with their homes. The majority believe that owning a home makes sound financial sense at almost every stage of adult life.

“The overwhelming message is that homeownership works,” said Dave Lowman, executive vice president of Single-Family Business at Freddie Mac. “The American Dream delivered greater financial stability and satisfaction to the homeowners who lived through every recession since the 1970s, including the housing crisis of 2008."
Forty per cent of respondents said they plan to move one more time with 70 per cent saying they intend to purchase their next home.
Mortgage applications up 9 per cent
Mortgage applications rebounded last week with a 9.3 per cent increase in the Mortgage Bankers’ Association’s Market Composite Index on a seasonally-adjusted basis. It was down 13 per cent on an unadjusted basis.

The Refinance Index increased 7 per cent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 12 per cent while the unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 12 per cent compared with the previous week and was 6 per cent lower than the same week one year ago.