Half as many Florida owners are ‘seriously underwater’

IRVINE, Calif. – Jan. 22, 2015 – RealtyTrac’s U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for the fourth quarter of 2014 found fewer seriously underwater home (a combined loan amount at least 25 percent higher than estimated market value) in Florida and across the U.S.

In Florida, RealtyTrac found that 17 percent of homeowners with a mortgage were seriously underwater at the end of 2014; however, that’s a decline from one year earlier, the fourth quarter of 2013, when 34 percent were considered seriously underwater.

It’s also a noticeable improvement quarter-to-quarter. Just three months earlier – in the third quarter of 2014 – RealtyTrac reported that 28 percent of Florida homeowners were seriously underwater.

The report also looked at “equity rich” homeowners – those with at least 50 percent equity in their property – that continue to rise in Florida. At the end of 2013, 15 percent of Floridians with a mortgage were equity rich, but a year later, that number rose to 18 percent.

In addition, not all homes in foreclosure lack equity these days; in Florida, 30 percent of foreclosure owners are out of the woods. Still, about 50 percent of owners in foreclosure are considered seriously delinquent.

RealtyTrac’s report also notes that a number of Florida cities had a significant number of seriously underwater properties. While Las Vegas topped the list with 30 percent seriously delinquent, it was followed by No. 2 Orlando (26 percent), No. 3 Tampa (25 percent), No. 4 Jacksonville (24 percent) and No. 6 Miami (24 percent).

National numbers

In the U.S., RealtyTrac found that over 7 million properties were seriously delinquent at the end of 2014 – 13 percent of all properties with a mortgage. However, that number is the lowest year and quarter since RealtyTrac began tracking home equity trends in the first quarter of 2012.

“Median home prices nationwide bottomed out in March 2012, and since then have increased 35 percent, lifting 5.8 million homeowners out of seriously underwater territory,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “While the remaining seriously underwater properties continue to be a millstone around the neck of some local markets, the growing number of equity rich homeowners should help counteract the downward pull of negative equity in many markets, empowering those housing markets – and by extension their local economies – to walk on water in 2015.”

Equity rich U.S. properties increased by nearly 2.2 million in 2014 to make up 20 percent of all properties with a mortgage.

© 2015 Florida Realtors®

Living in Sarasota March 2020

Living in Sarasota March 2020

Living in Sarasota, September 2019
A publication of S&N Real Estate, Inc.

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