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

Snohomish inventor makes changing beds magical

Making your bed and lying in it just got a… Continue reading

Happy accident leads Edmonds couple to make Hunniwater drink

The latest line of energy drinks by Karin and Eric… Continue reading

Single payer is no panacea for our costly health care system

We must address the cost of health care before designing an insurance system.

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.

Career Fair planned next week at Tulalip Resort Casino

The Snohomish County Career Fair is planned from 10 a.m. to 2… Continue reading

American Farmland Trust president to speak in Mount Vernon

American Farmland Trust President John Piotti plans to give a talk about… Continue reading

In new setback, Uber to lose license to work in London

The company, beset by litany of scandals, was told it was not “fit and proper” to keep operating there.

Not home? Walmart wants to walk in and stock your fridge

The retailer is trying out the service with tech-savvy shoppers who have internet-connected locks.

Trade panel: Cheap imports hurt US solar industry

The ruling raises the possibility of tariffs that could double the price of solar panels.

Most Read