CoreLogic: 1.2M borrowers regained equity in 2014

IRVINE, Calif. – March 17, 2015 – CoreLogic released new analysis for the fourth quarter of 2014 that shows 1.2 million U.S. borrowers regained equity in 2014. Nationwide, that means 89 percent of all owners with a mortgage now live in a home that’s worth more than the amount they still owe to their lender.

Florida ranked second in the number of underwater homes with one in four owners with a mortgage (23.2 percent). Only Nevada had more underwater owners (24.2 percent). Third-place Arizona had 18.7 percent.

In a closer look at metro areas, only one Florida city made the top five, but it came in at the top spot: In Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, 24.8 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are underwater. Second-place Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale had 18.8 percent underwater.

According to CoreLogic’s fourth quarter 2014 release, however, U.S. borrower equity increased year over year by $656 billion, even though about 172,000 homes slipped into negative compared to the third quarter. Negative equity can occur because of a decline in value, an increase in mortgage debt or a combination of both.

“The share of homeowners that had negative equity increased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2014, reflecting the typical weakness in home values during the final quarter of the year,” says Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic.

Of the 49.9 million residential U.S. properties with a mortgage, approximately 20 percent have less than 20-percent equity (under-equitied) and 1.4 million have less than 5-percent equity (near-negative equity).

Under-equitied borrowers may have a more difficult time refinancing or getting new financing. Near-negative-equity borrowers are at risk of moving into negative equity if home prices fall.

CoreLogic’s latest report can be found online.

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Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Florida Realtors®

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