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Underwater Properties Decreasing as Equity Rises

Posted on Mar 18, 2015

RealtyTrac®  released today its U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for the fourth quarter of 2014, showing that at the end of the year there were 7,052,570 U.S. residential properties seriously underwater — where the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25% higher than the property’s estimated market value — representing 13% of all properties with a mortgage.

The number and share of seriously underwater homeowners at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014 were both at their lowest levels since RealtyTrac began tracking home equity trends in the first quarter of 2012 and are down from a peak of 12.8 million seriously underwater homeowners representing 29% of all homeowners with a mortgage in the second quarter of 2012.

Equity rich properties increase nearly 2.2 million in 2014
There were 11,249,646 equity rich U.S. residential properties with at least 50% positive equity at the end of 2014, representing 20% of all properties with a mortgage. That was up nearly 2.2 million from 9,097,325 equity rich properties at the end of 2013.

Major markets where the share of seriously underwater properties was below 10% at the end of 2014 included Los Angeles (6%) San Jose, Calif., (2%), Denver (4%), Portland (5%), Minneapolis (5%), Boston (5%), San Francisco (5%), Pittsburgh (6%), Houston (8%), Dallas (8%) and Seattle (9%).

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