More homeowners rise above water as prices gain


Los Angeles Times

One of the most pernicious effects of the housing bust was the huge number of borrowers stuck in homes worth far less than those properties could be sold for.

Negative equity has been a major drag on mobility and hence the American economy. Being stuck “underwater” means you can’t sell your house or often even move out if you get a job someplace else.

Now that problem is easing, ever so slightly, with the recent rebound in home prices. About 100,000 borrowers popped into a positive equity position during the third quarter of 2012, mortgage tracker CoreLogic reported.

As many as 1.8 million borrowers could have equity in their home in the next year if prices continue to rise, the firm reported.

CoreLogic said that about 10.7 million homes — or about 22 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage — were in negative equity at the end of the third quarter. Negative-equity mortgages and those in a near-negative-equity position accounted for 26.8 percent of all homes with a mortgage.