While most homeowners are enjoying seeing the value of their properties appreciate, there’s also good news for some of those who were previously underwater, or owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
New data from ATTOM Data Solutions’ third quarter 2017 Home Equity & Underwater report shows that there are now just 4.6 million properties in the U.S. that are considered to be “seriously underwater”. While that’s still admittedly quite a lot, it’s 1.4 million less than the same period one year ago.
ATTOM Data Solutions says it marks the biggest year-over-year drop in underwater homes since Q2 of 2015.
For clarity, ATTOM Data Solutions defines underwater homes as those properties where the combined loan amount is at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value.
Currently, 8.7 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage are said to be underwater, down from 10.8 percent one year ago.
“Accelerating home price appreciation this year is increasing the velocity at which seriously underwater homeowners are recovering home equity lost during the Great Recession,” said 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%).
ATTOM Data Solutions provides the following interactive map to determine how problematic negative equity still is in your ZIP code.