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published on December 8, 2016 - 4:47 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

New data from real estate information firm CoreLogic finds more Central Valley homeowners coming up for air from underwater mortgages.


Negative equity, often referred to as being “underwater” or “upside down,” applies to borrowers who own more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

In Fresno, 12.2 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity in the third quarter, compared to 15.9 percent in the same quarter last year and 13.7 percent in the second quarter.

That represents a total of 18,619 Fresno households with negative equity in the third quarter.

In addition, 2.4 percent of properties were in near-negative equity (less than 5 percent equity) in the third quarter, compared to 2.8 percent last year and 2.6 percent in the second quarter.

That represents 3,615 households with near-negative equity in the third quarter.

In the Visalia-Porterville region, 8.7 percent of properties were in negative equity in the third quarter, compared to 13.2 percent last year and 10.2 percent in the second quarter.

That represents 6,056 negative equity homes in the third quarter.

An additional 2.4 percent of properties were in near-negative equity in the third quarter, compared to 2.9 percent last year and 2.6 percent in the second quarter.

In total, 1,650 Visalia-Porterville homes were in near negative equity in the third quarter.

Nationally, equity is on the raise, increasing by $227 billion in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter for a 3.1 percent bump. Additionally, 384,000 borrowers moved out of negative equity, increasing the percentage of homes with positive equity to 93.7 percent of all mortgaged properties, or approximately 47.9 million homes. Year over year, home equity grew by $726 billion, representing an increase of 10.8 percent in the third quarter compared to last year.

“Price appreciation is the main ingredient for home equity wealth creation, and home prices rose 5.8 percent in the year ending September 2016 according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Paydown of principal is the second key component of equity building. Many homeowners have refinanced into shorter-term loans, such as a 15-year loan, and by doing so, they have significantly fewer mortgage payments and are able to build equity wealth faster.”


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