‘Underwater’ Homes Are Drying Up
As more homeowners see their property values rise, the number of homes that are seriously underwater continues to decrease. At the end of the third quarter, there were 4.6 million U.S. properties considered seriously underwater, which is down by more than 1.4 million properties from a year ago, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q3 2017 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report. That marks the biggest year-overyear drop since the second quarter of 2015.
ATTOM Data Solutions defines “seriously underwater” as properties where the combined loan amount is at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value.
The number of seriously underwater properties represents 8.7 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage, down from 10.8 percent a year ago, ATTOM Data Solutions reports.
“Accelerating home price appreciation this year is increasing the velocity at which seriously underwater homeowners are recovering home equity lost during the Great Recession,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.
The metros (with populations of 500,000 or more) with the highest share of seriously underwater properties in the third quarter were Baton Rouge, La. (20.5%); Scranton, Pa. (19.5%); Youngstown, Ohio (18.2%); New Orleans (17.4%); and Dayton, Ohio (16.4%).