DataMarkets & Economy

Severely underwater properties down 6.1 million from 2012 peak

Attom reports on US home equity in second quarter
  • At the end of the second quarter, 6.7 million homes were reported seriously underwater, representing 11.9 percent of the mortgaged home market.
  • In San Francisco, underwater homes made up 3.7 percent of the market in Q2.
  • Austin was another locale with low underwater rates, registering at 3.9 percent.
  • Some major cities had 15 percent or more of homes considered seriously underwater, including Chicago, Baltimore and Miami.

Equity is rising and seriously underwater homeowners are dropping as the damage from the housing slump subsides, according to Attom Data Solutions. Seriously underwater properties declined by 776,000 nationwide since the second quarter of 2015 and 37,235 compared to the first quarter this year, according to the data firm's Home Equity and Underwater Report. Seriously underwater is defined as a loan-to-value ratio of 125 percent or higher, meaning the homeowner owes 25 percent more than the home's estimated market value. According to Attom, equity-rich properties comprised 22.1 percent of mortgaged homes at the end of the second quarter, up from 22 percent the previous quarter and 19.6 percent last year. Equity rich is defined as a loan-to-value ratio of 50 percent or less. “This is primarily driven by rising home prices,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of Attom. “We’ve seen 52 consecutive months of annual price appreciation across the country. ...