CoreLogic: 950K Homes Return to Positive Equity
Banker & Tradesman (09/25/14)

Almost 950,000 more U.S. residences returned to positive equity in the second quarter, according to CoreLogic, which says a total of more than 44 million mortgaged homes countrywide are now above water. About 9 million of those properties have less than 20 percent equity however, and 1.3 million have less than 5 percent, which makes refinancing or trading up a challenge for those households. The share of homes that remain under water, meanwhile, has fallen to 5.3 million -- down from 6.3 million in the first three months of the year and from 7.2 million in the 2013 second quarter. CoreLogic estimates that 5 percent appreciation would be enough to dig an another 1 million homeowners out from underwater. "The increase in borrower equity of $1 trillion from a year earlier is evidence that things are moving solidly in the right direction," said CoreLogic deputy chief economist Sam Khater. "Borrower equity is important because home equity constitutes borrowers' largest investment segment and, as a result, is driving forward the rise in wealth for the typical homeowner." The biggest share of negative-equity homes was in Nevada at 26.3 percent, followed by Florida at 24.3 percent, Arizona at 19.0 percent, Illinois at 15.4 percent and Rhode Island at 14.8 percent. Together, these states account for 32.8 percent of negative equity in the United States.