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Number of underwater homes levels off

Number of underwater homes levels off

The number of Orange County homes with more debt than value appears to have leveled off this past summer, CoreLogic figures show.REGISTER STAFF

The number of Orange County homes that are “under water” appears to have stopped shrinking, new figures from real estate data firm CoreLogic show.

By the end of the summer, 13,123 Orange County homes were “under water” – that is, worth less than was owed on their mortgage, CoreLogic reported Tuesday. That’s just 72 fewer than at the end of the spring, meaning that only 0.5 percent regained equity (or had value exceeding debt) during the summer.

On the other hand, a year of rising home prices has been good for distressed homeowners. CoreLogic reported that 5,576 properties emerged from being under water in the year ending this past summer.

Just 2.4 percent of the 547,000 Orange County homes with a mortgage were under water during the summer quarter, CoreLogic reported. By comparison, 3.4 percent were under water in the summer of 2014 and 23 percent were under water at the peak of the housing crisis in the summer of 2009.

Nationally, 256,000 properties regained equity from the end of spring to the end of summer, when the tally of underwater homes stood at 4.1 million, or 8.1 percent of all mortgaged U.S. homes. About 1.1 million homes regained equity in the entire year.

“Home price growth continued to lift borrower equity positions and increase the number of borrowers with sufficient equity to participate in the mortgage market,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.

Contact the writer: 714-796-7734 or jcollins@ocregister.com

The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Real Estate News