Number of ‘underwater’ homes drops

Fewer borrowers nationwide owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, providing a boost to the housing recovery, according to a new report.

Roughly 200,000 borrowers escaped their “negative equity” positions during the final three months of last year, real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday. During all of last year, 1.7 million residential properties moved from negative to positive equity.

Overall, the nation’s negative equity fell from $670 billion in the third quarter to $628 billion at the end of last year, CoreLogic said.

A shortage of houses on the market has pushed up home prices in many markets. But the supply could increase, cooling price increases, if more homeowners escape negative equity positions and regain the option of selling.

“The scourge of negative equity continues to recede across the country,” CoreLogic Chief Executive Anand Nallathambi said in a statement. “With fewer borrowers underwater, the fundamentals underpinning the housing market will continue to strengthen.”

The inability of homeowners to sell and move — say, for a better job — also places a drag on the overall economy.

Nationwide, 10.4 million homes, or 21.5 percent of all homes with a mortgage, remain in negative equity.

More in Herald Business Journal

Voters are on the sidelines as the port fills a vacant seat

Troy McClelland resigned from the Port of Everett commission too late for an election before 2019.

Don’t rely just on productivity measurements to value a worker

The controversies swirling around the productivity data at the national level are… Continue reading

In space capsules today, little room but big improvement

Boeing and SpaceX are relying on a tried-and-true design as they each develop new spacecraft.

First Boeing KC-46 delivery to Air Force slides into 2018

Certification milestones have been missed, and problems have emerged in flight test, a source says.

SEC reveals hack, possibility info was used for trading

The regulatory agency said the hack was discovered last year.

Newest must-try eatery: 85°C Bakery Cafe in Lynnwood

The popular bakery, part of a Taiwan-based chain, is already drawing out-the-door crowds.

Snohomish County tax liens

Tax liens are gathered from online public records filed with the Snohomish… Continue reading

Trudeau: Canada could stop dealing with Boeing over dispute

Boeing had petitioned the U.S. to investigate government subsidies of Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft.

Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy but keeps stores open

Retailers of all kinds are struggling. Toys ‘R’ Us is among at least 18 other bankruptcies this year.

Most Read