While the percentage of homes in the United States with negative equity has declined substantially since the fourth quarter of 2013, they experienced a slight increase quarter-over-quarter in Q4 2014, according to CoreLogic‘s Q4 2014 Equity Report released last Tuesday.
CoreLogic reported that 10.8 percent of all residential homes were underwater in Q4, this is about 5.4 million properties approximately, which was down from 13.3 percent in the same quarter a year earlier. The Q4 total was up slightly from the 10.3 percent that was reported for Q3 2014 – an increase of 3.3 percent.
Despite the year-over-year decline in the percentage of underwater residential properties, negative equity remains a serious issue, according to Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. For the full year of 2014, 1.2 million borrowers regained equity – but nearly five and a half million properties remained in negative equity as of the end of the year after approximately 172,000 homes slipped into negative equity from the third quarter to the fourth quarter in 2014.
Approximately 10 million of the nearly 50 million residential properties with a mortgage in the United States, which is about 20 percent of these properties have less than 20 percent equity, a condition known as under-equitied.
On today’s new analysis released by CoreLogic, leading global property information, analytics and data services provider, reported that 1.2 million borrowers regained equity in 2014. Nationwide, borrower equity increased year over year by $656 billion in Q4 2014. Borrowers with near negative equity are considered at risk of moving into negative equity if home prices fall. In contrast, if home prices rose by as little as 5 percent, an additional 1 million homeowners now in negative equity would regain equity. The calculations are not based on sampling, but rather on the full data set to avoid potential adverse selection due to sampling, and only data for mortgages residential properties that have a current estimated value is included.