Boston Foreclosure

One-Fourth of Borrowers are Underwater

One-Fourth of Borrowers are Underwater

According to a recent report by research firm First American CoreLogic, more than 23 percent of U.S. homeowners with mortgages owe more on their properties than they are worth. Another 2.3 million homeowners are within 5 percent of being underwater. About 5.3 million U.S. households have mortgages that are at least 20 percent higher than their home's value. These homeowners cannot refinance and are stuck with the choice of continuing to pay their mortgage and holding the property until values rise (which could be years), or handing the keys to the bank and having a black mark on their credit score for the next seven years. It is important to note that most U.S. homeowners actually have home equity and nearly 24 million own their home free and clear. This is why we are seeing such discrepancies in sales prices as well as inventory. Many local Boston real estate owners who have home equity or own their homes outright have decided either not to sell their homes in this market, not to significantly negotiate on price, or simply to lease out their property until distressed sales stop peppering the market. The majority of underwater mortgages are in the following states:

1. Nevada: 65 percent of homeowners underwater

2. Arizona: 48 percent

3. Florida: 45 percent

4. Michigan: 37 percent

5. California: 35 percent

Subscribe for off market home opportunities, Boston development news, market reports and more.