Report: A Third of Home Owners in Foreclosure Have Equity

April 17, 2014

More home owners in the foreclosure process are finding that their home may no longer be underwater, according to a new report by RealtyTrac.

“Because of rising home prices, many of the home owners in the foreclosure process — more than a third — actually have positive equity,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “That will enable some of them to avoid foreclosure,” allowing the home owners to either sell or refinance. 

However, “many distressed home owners with equity may not realize they have it and, in some cases, have vacated the property already, assuming that their foreclosure is inevitable,” Blomquist says.

The metro areas where more than half of the foreclosures actually have positive equity are:

  • Denver
  • Boston
  • Minneapolis
  • Houston
  • Washington, D.C.

Rising home prices have been helping to lift more home owners above water on their mortgages in the past year. About 9.1 million home owners, or 17 percent, are “seriously” underwater on their mortgage (their debt exceeds the home’s value by 25 percent or more). That's down from 10.9 million, or 26 percent, of all properties a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.

Source: “Nearly 2 Million Home Owners No Longer ‘Seriously’ Underwater,” CNNMoney (April 17, 2014)

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