11 Million Homes Still Underwater

With all of the real estate gains in 2013, one in five homeowners currently still owe  more on their mortgage to the bank than their home is worth!

Pretty amazing considering that the housing market exited 2013 in much better shape than at the beginning of the year. Prices rose as much as 40 percent in some areas, bidding wars broke out and the foreclosure rate is half from its peak… But the market is by no means fully recovered.

In fact, here it is five years after the housing bubble collapsed and 20%of homeowners are still underwater on their mortgage.

At its worst in early 2012, almost 16 million Americans were under water on their mortgage. In some of the hardest hit neighborhoods, such as Las Vegas, Phoenix, Sacramento, and Detroit, up to 70 percent of homeowners owed more than the value of their home.

Since then, rising home prices have pushed 5 million homeowners back into the black… but a staggering 11 million out of a total of 50 million mortgage holders still remain in a negative equity position and these high levels are going to be with us for some time.

With mortgage rates rising and expected to hit 5% or more this year, many economists predict a more subdued housing market in 2014. That means price gains should moderate and it could take a while longer for homeowners who are still under water to recover. It looks like we still have quite a few more years to go before the housing market comes entirely back to normal.

The only way for a homeowner to currently sell a home that is underwater is through a short sale. The banks and government agencies realize that these folks really have no other option to move forward so they have finally made this process much easier and quicker to get done.

Homeowners do not even need to be late on their mortgage to qualify. You just have to show that there is some reason or hardship that requires you to sell… such as a divorce, job transfer, illness, and many more issues to qualify. It’s important to have an experienced agent in short sales working for you that will expedite the process and bring the sale to a successful conclusion.

Now if you or someone you know has questions and could use help in any real estate matter or considering selling or buying, contact me Frank Verni and I’d be happy to help any way I can.

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I’ll see you again soon!
Thanks and Good Luck.

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