Rising home values helped 1.3 million homeowners get out from "underwater" in the first half of the year, and another 2 million would get equity if national home prices increase by another 5 percent, data aggregator CoreLogic said today.
CoreLogic estimates that 22.3 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage were worth less than what was owed on their mortgages at the end of June, down from 23.7 percent at the end of March.
That translates into 10.8 million homeowners who owed more than their homes were worth at the end of June, down from 11.4 million at the end of March and 12.1 million at the end of 2011, CoreLogic said.
"Surging home prices this spring and summer, lower levels of inventory, and declining REO sale shares are all contributing to the nascent housing recovery and declining negative equity," CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming said in a statement.
Nevada had the highest percentage of mortgaged properties that were underwater (59 percent), followed by Florida (43 percent), Arizona (40 percent), Georgia (36 percent) and Michigan (33 percent).
Those five states accounted for 34.1 percent of the $689 billion of negative equity in the U.S.
Equity share by state
Right-click chart to enlarge. Source:CoreLogic.
Most of that negative equity is concentrated in the low end of the housing market, CoreLogic said. About 32 percent of homes worth less than $200,000 are underwater, compared with 17 percent of homes valued at more than $200,000.
Borrowers with second loans on their homes tend to be more deeply underwater. About 39 percent of underwater borrowers (4.2 million homes) had second loans, and the average loan balance among that group was $300,000 — about $84,000 more than their homes were worth, on average.
Among the 61 percent of underwater borrowers without second liens (10.2 million homes), the average mortgage balance was $216,000, about $51,000 more than their homes were worth on average.