Nationwide, homeowners who were upside down on their mortgages are decreasing at the fastest rate seen in years. Negative equity homes or "underwater" homes are those in which the mortgage balance is greater than the value of the home.
According to CoreLogic, the number of American's who fit this description has shrunk to 3.2 million mortgaged homes in the third quarter. This is down from 4.2 million during the same period last year. The new underwater statistics are an impressive turnaround from the height of the recession when more than one in four American homeowners were underwater.
Rising values have given home owners $227 billion in new equity last quarter – a 3.1 percent increase over the second quarter of 2016. In California, the average gain a homeowner has seen their home values increase $25,000 in the last few months alone. As demand for housing continues to increase, these figures are expected to grow.
Meanwhile, mortgage rates remain near historic lows with conforming no-point 30-year fixed rates averaging 4.125 percent while the 15-year rate is near 3.375 percent.
Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.