South Orange County Blog from Bob Phillips

28,000 Orange County Homeowners Are No Longer Underwater

28,000 Orange County Homeowners Are No Longer Underwater

By Jeff Collins of the Orange County Register, March 19th, 2013

Rising home values pushed nearly 28,000 Orange County homeowners “above water” last year, meaning their homes no longer are worth less than the amount owed on their mortgages, CoreLogic reported Tuesday.


The number of underwater homeowners fell to 15.3 percent of all homes with a mortgage versus 20.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. 

Overall, 84,524 Orange County homeowners owed more for their homes than they were worth in the fourth quarter of last year, the Irvine-based property-data firm said. That’s 27,756 fewer than in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Nationwide, 1.7 million U.S. homeowners moved out of negative equity during 2012. CoreLogic reported that 10.4 million – or 21.5 percent of borrowers – were underwater. That’s down from 10.6 million, or 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

“The scourge of negative equity continues to recede across the country,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “With fewer borrowers underwater, the fundamentals underpinning the housing market will continue to strengthen.”

Nallathamb predicted that the trend will continue throughout this year.

CoreLogic also reported:

  • 19,828 county homeowners, or 3.6 percent of borrowers, had zero to 5 percent equity in their home.
  • The total of negative equity and “near-negative equity” borrowers is now at 104,352, or 3.6 percent of all Orange County borrowers.
  • A significant chunk of homeowners likely remain unable to sell their homes without a loss after paying commissions and closing costs.
  • In California, 1.7 million homeowners, or 25.2 percent of California borrowers with a mortgage, were underwater during the fourth quarter of 2012.” ( End of article.)

As this year’s extreme seller’s market gains momentum, even more “underwater” home owners stand to be lifted into an equity position.  Because of the serious lack of housing inventory, this has become the best time in the past 6 years to be selling a house in Orange County – especially if you won’t be buying again, for a while, in this area.

As a CDPE ( Certified Distressed Property Expert.) I am both well trained and highly experienced, to assist you in considering your options, whether to try to stay in your home, modify your existing mortgage, sell your underwater home in a short sale, or sell it in a standard or equity sale.  Drop me an email or give me a call, and let’s discuss your options.

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